Thursday, March 31, 2011

Good and Bad

As I walked on campus today, I chanced to pass a couple--a young man and an older woman--who were in earnest conversation.

"For every good person in the world," I heard the woman say, "There is a bad one."

Who knows how this fits into a context? I certainly do not. It was just a snippet of sound; a brief glimpse into other lives in a passing moment. What I heard, however, was enough to make me wonder.

Is that true? Are there an equal number of good and bad people in the world? No? Then, is it more or less? Can you even quantify something like that?

Of course not. We need venture no further than the question of who gets to decide about the definition of good and bad to completely derail this as some sort of logical inquiry.

But, the question remained in my mind as I walked along today. It was a beautiful day, full of sunshine, with warm fragrant spring air filling my senses. No need to worry about such things.

I'm home now and I've had a beer, and some time to think, but it doesn't look like I'm going to find my way on this. I want to be an optimist. I also want to be a realist. These two opposing goals have ever had me at odds with myself. It's been my personal dilemma--not unique, but personal, and therefore meaningful to me, and perhaps one or the other of my Dear Readers.

Still, in an instant, my first reckoning was quite telling, and, perhaps, just a bit too brutal.

Despite my good mood and the delightful day I thought the woman was being far too generous.

"She's wrong. 2:1 bad to good" I thought.

Then, I chastised myself. "No. Come on, it can't be that bad."

But, it isn't anything like, say, 2:1 good to bad. Can't be. Maybe the woman was right.

Even odds? Really?


d2 said...

I would say, rather, that for every bad person in the world, there is a good one - but it is the same person.

We're all good and bad, not one or the other.

Greyghost said...

@ D2 Wow, you said it. I missed the point of my own essay, but it's nice to have you sum it up properly.