An Uncomfortable Truth

If you look at the world today, you see a lot of chaos and suffering, which permeates the news media in all of its forms. Whether it is global regional conflict, poverty and starvation, economic disparity, political corruption, human trafficking and slavery, climate change, environmental destruction, the rise in chronic disease, pandemics, addiction and many other examples too numerous to mention, we are surrounded by mayhem.

Many people have their theories about why our world is in chaos, however, these are all manifestations of one thing: pure evil. Evil is present and very real in our world and there are examples of it all around us, like I have already mentioned. The question is why does evil exist? There was a time when I thought that evil could be explained by the analogy of darkness, which is just an absence of light. However, this was based on a limited understanding but I know better now.

The fact is that evil is not just an absence of light but an entity that exists on its own. An example are the senseless wars that humanity has fought in the past and continues to pursue at the hands of greedy, power-hungry political leaders who do ignore the suffering they inflict on innocent civilians as they wage their campaigns. So the question is why does this evil continue to manifest in various parts of the world and in various forms?

The answer to this question is not simply but multifaceted. The first part of this answer is that there are legitimate evil people in the world. Look at ruthless dictators such as Hitler of Germany, Pol Pot of Cambodia and Stalin in the former Soviet Union, to name a few. They are responsible for the deaths of millions of innocent civilians and were legitimately evil in their nature.

The second part of this answer is that evil can only exist in the world because humanity as a whole is responsible for its existence and persistence. This may seem harsh and you may not want to hear it but its true. The fact is that any evil that does exist in the world is because the majority of people remain ignorant of the truth and facts behind it, or, they are aware of the truth and facts behind it but refuse to do anything about it. The evil leaders, I mentioned above, could not have carried out their atrocious acts if the populations, they governed, have spoken out and risen up against them.

Why would people deliberately choose to ignore evil? There are many reasons for this including fear of retribution, lack of knowledge of what to do about, lack of desire to bring about change in society, previous experience, in which confronting evil resulted in an adverse outcome or simple complacency. As hard as it is to hear and accept, we are all responsible, at some level, for any evil that we perceive in the world.

The question then is that, if we are all responsible, at whatever level, for the evil we see in the world, how can we bring about legitimate change in the world we live in? This question I will begin to explore in my next article. In the meantime, scrutinize your own life and see how you are responsible for anything evil that you perceive in the world.

Dr. Nauman Naeem

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