Evil Doesn’t Exist, Just Passive People

Today, I think I realized something pretty simple, but which has big implications for how I choose to act. Evil doesn’t exist:

If you witness evil in the world, don’t take it for granted, fix it. Assume everyone is good and that it’s your responsibility to fix the world around you if something isn’t quite right. Don’t complain, don’t assume the worst in others, because ultimately it’s your own world and it’s you and your children that’ll have to live in it. Therefore any evil is your responsibility, not something that “just is.”

Obviously, you can’t force your own morals on others because you have to respect that they’re constructing their own worlds as well. But at least lead by example and make your world apparent through your actions so others may take a hint. I think that’s what integrity is and so it goes hand-in-hand with responsibility.

I realized this when I was thinking about how community gardens would be so much more awesomer if they weren’t a semi-public/semi-private affair that required purchasing a plot. What if it operated off the honor system and you just assumed most people would be grateful enough to not take advantage?

I think it would work out well for the most part. No one would have private space, it’d just be a common space to garden and grow. Anyone could walk in and out at anytime and pick some food or flowers. It’ll encourage more people to realize the benefits of gardening or teach people how to go about it. It could feed the homeless. With more people involved, there’ll also be more people helping, not on one particular plot, but everywhere; so the whole space is uber-productive.

Alas, not everyone will be as fair as the next person and people will inevitably take advantage of this kind of system. But what good does it do to just assume it won’t work because some people suck? Why not put up signs that suggest people return their harvest with their own labor. Why not put up community rules (you can’t have rules in an honor system) guidelines. Why not call people out when you see them reaping more than what they’ve sown? You don’t have to chastise them, but you can certainly show them a level of generosity that might trigger some sort of guilt or enlightenment or whatever so that they’ll start being less greedy and more productive towards the community and themselves. Doesn’t that sound like a better plan of action than having to work around the “fact” that some people are just immoral and there’s nothing we can do about it?

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