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It was one of those days where, when I looked at someone else walking down the street, and he or she looked back, there was an immediate connection, an understanding, because we were reminded of our common bond as human beings.
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I believe that there's no such thing as "evil." I think that when we label someone else as evil, we do two things: we make them the "other," someone who has little to nothing common with us; and we strip them of a certain level of basic responsibility. After all, the purpose of Evil is... to be evil. "Evil" seems like this force that comes from outside the human realm, something we can't extinguish. But the truth is that normal, everyday people - people like me and like you - can do truly horrible, unspeakable things. They aren't monsters. Their purpose in life was not to create suffering, but those are the acts they chose for whatever reason (abuse in their own life, trauma, mental illness), and in turn they pass on their suffering to others.
I could talk about gun control (I have strong feelings about that) and I could talk about the importance of mental health support (strong feelings about that too), but ultimately, what's wrong here is much deeper than that.
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That is the secret of life. Everyone is flailing around, winging it most of the time, trying to find the way out, or through, or up, without a map. This lack of instruction manual is how most people develop compassion, and how they figure out to show up, care, help and serve, as the only way of filling up and being free. Otherwise you grow up to be someone who needs to dominate and shame others so no one will know that you weren't there the day the instructions were passed out.” - Anne Lamott
End of the pier, Berkeley marina
San Francisco Bay