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Discussion about Love Even Though

Edited transcript of comments by David Truman

David: Even if everyone else seems evil, or is evil, you don't have to be evil. That may seem obvious, but people don't always think that way. Instead they unconsciously believe that one bad turn justifies another. For example, people say, "I had bad experiences." When it comes to the cause of those "bad experiences," they generally blame other people -- people who caused hurt by being mean or evil. The implication is, since they were evil, and I got hurt, I have an excuse to be evil now, and hurt you now.

Supposedly, the evil of one person justifies evil in another. In that way of thinking, it follows logically that if you saw a guy mugging somebody, or beating somebody up, you too could go ahead and beat other people up. That way, everyone would be the same as the worst person -- or at least the average person. That's what you really imply when you say, "I had a difficult childhood," or, "Not everyone has been good to me," or, "Some people were mean to me."

Is it not true, that in pointing to the harm done to you by others, you are citing that harm as a justification for being mean, yourself -- or at least, for not being loving? Isn't that why you bring up that bit of sad history? When in Rome, do as an idiot?

Presumably, having had a sad experience serves to eliminate the necessity of being a loving person oneself. Having seen that this is the common way, or whatever. So that's why the story is being recalled and cited.

This, to me, is the voice of rightness: Do not think you should be bad, just because the other is bad.

Surely, we can applaud the child who comes home from school and says, "Mom, something terrible happened at school today: the bully beat various kids out of their lunch money." Clearly, that sensitive boy has a keen sense of right and wrong. Unless, that is, the next time he goes to school, he decides to go ahead and beat somebody out of their lunch money -- "because the other boy did it." That would, in a sense, nullify the very same moral sensibilities with which he cried out, "That is wrong!"

You know: "I had bad experiences as a child. I was not loved -- and that's wrong!" And then they go on to say, "But, because of those experiences, I will not love you."

Question: Is being unloving now right, because in the past, people were unloving to you?" What ever happened to the idea, two wrongs don't make a right?

So you see, the person was on the right track when they saw that the bully was doing the wrong thing, and the person was very on the right track when they realized they were hurt as a child -- hurt because people were not right with them, hurt because people did not support them in the ways that a human being needs to be supported, and deserves to be supported. But now what are they doing? They're going ahead and not supporting other human beings in the way other human beings deserve to be supported. So they are, in reality, becoming what happened to them. They're using what happened to them as the logic to justify inflicting hurt on others.

Every time everybody gets really suspicious and negative, they're always citing verse and line about how there are mean people out there. And I say, "I see. And you're one of them, right?" I would say, "There's victims crueler than worlds. This is a cruel world all right. But not as cruel as its victims." Right? So, at what point does the madness end? At what point does someone quit putting good money after bad, good humanity after bad humanity, and becoming the problem, and simply magnifying it, increasing it, and perpetuating it?

There has to be a break in the cycle of victimization. You have to invest in people. Even if people give you little reason to have hope in them, they need you. Just because they are bereft of love doesn't mean they don't need love. As a matter of fact, if you think about it logically, you could see that, most likely, more than ever they need it, given this.

Mati: This is what should be in the Bible!

David: Well, this is in the Bible. It says, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Now if, in fact, a person's complaining that as a child they had bad experiences, what they're saying is, "I wish I had been done unto different -- different in this way: I would like to be loved instead of mistreated or ignored." The Bible says, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," and not, "Do unto others as others did to you." An eye for an eye is wrong. Don't magnify and extend evil by enlisting yourself in the war against good. Don't become one of the bad guys, and try to justify it in the way that, in all likelihood, your former tormentors did.

I would bet that there's no person, no matter how mean they seem, who doesn't have a justification for being that way. Whoever mistreated you was using roughly the same logic you're presently using to mistreat others. In other words, they actually have an excuse, and the excuse is blame. There are not that many excuses to choose from. They probably think that they were mistreated.

For example, it's said that violence is handed down from one generation to the next. If you were beaten by your parents, chances are you're going to beat your own children. So they all apparently used their past as a justification.

My question is, where does it all end? The song says,

Hurt people hurt people they say.

But it's going to end some day.

When they've hurt everybody,

Who will be left to bloody?"

By that domino logic, eventually the plague will take every individual, and there will be no one left standing.

Everyone can use the excuses we're using. And thereby, everyone can become part of the problem. And before long, there won't be a good person left on the earth. Just carnage -- with no guardian angel, no saving grace, no triage. No person who, in the midst of such ugliness, would stand up and contradict it. Where is the lover in the midst of hatred? If there is no exception, there is only the rule of evil, uncontradicted carnage.

So that's why there has to be a contradiction, an exception. It's up to us to be that exception.

by David Truman

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