I don’t know what your religion is and quite frankly I don’t care. What I do care is that you understand that no one was born evil. Christians believe that we are all born sinners because of some mythical chick that bit an apple when she really wasn’t supposed to.
Now, if you believe in this theory, I might have a hard time changing this belief of yours, but if you are open-minded and you want to live a more compassionate life, please give me a chance to explain this to you.
Think of a baby that you know or just a little child under the age of 2. Got it? Okay. Now think of this baby holding a gun and shooting someone. Got this as well? Great. Now let me ask you something.
How uncomfortable were you imagining this little child holding a gun and taking someone’s life away?
My whole idea of humans is that we were all born pure and innocent; none of us was born with a gun in their hands and a knife in their pocket. Not one terrorist was born a terrorist, not one rapist was born to be a rapist, we all were born with infinite possibilities to become all that we could imagine.
Sadly some people are conditioned to become an evil person, not an evil soul, but an evil person. A soul is a soul; pure, innocent, eager to learn and full of light. But a soul can be hidden behind a mask that society puts on us as we are growing up and some of us are not aware that inside of our heart we have all that we need.
So we wear a mask that a country we grew up in put on us, we wear a mask that was forced on us by the religion our parents raised us in, we wear a mask full of words and sentences that were said to us by our parents.
We become an evil person because we are wearing an evil mask, but we are not an evil soul, because a soul is deep inside of us and what is inside of us since the birth cannot be evil. Evil is only placed inside of our mind and heart by the outside sources.
There are 5-year-old children that are willing to kill a cat or kill a person; there are 90-year-old people that never consciously killed a living creature. There is not much difference between how those two people were built; they have the same organs placed in the same parts of their body, everything is the same when it comes to anatomy because human bodies are not different species.
Just a quick note before we continue, I acknowledge that some people are born not being able to feel and they are excluded from what I talk about. I write with an assumption that everyone reading this is able to feel emotions and has a certain moral code. This does not include people with an antisocial personality disorder or any other similar disorder where people lack empathy and morals. I know that genes play an important role in how people are so please only read this thinking of people who do not have any major personality disorders.
A kangaroo and a snail can argue that their bodies are different, but humans are all alike at the core. Where people truly do differ is the outside world and the sources that we have for survival.
Hold an image of two babies in front of you; one baby is from Los Angeles and the other baby is from Moscow. They are both babies, correct? They are both tiny and smiling at everything, correct? When you look at them you couldn’t possibly know which one is American and which one is Russian. They are almost the same when you glance at them. (They can be of any race you wish, but they need to share it.)
But then you place those two babies in the arms of their parents, and you imagine them on a plane back to their country, speaking different languages and seeing different letters in front of them. Are they still the same? No, because now you know where they come from and who is going to raise them.
As babies, two tiny human beings are the same, nothing different. They both have arms and lungs and 5 fingers and brain and veins. They both do not know how to read, count, speak or walk. On the inside, they are equal – innocent, pure beings ready to absorb knowledge.
But their outside circumstances are different; one of them will be told they are smart while the other will be told they are stupid. One will grow up watching movies where Russia is the bad guy and the other one will watch movies where Russians are the heroes. Each day those two babies will receive two completely different views on life, people and themselves.
Do you understand now what I mean when I say that no one is born evil? Do you understand now what I mean when I say that everyone is created equal? If there is anything that you take out of this book, I wish it would be that.
No one is born evil. No one is born destined to become someone who kills others. There are no little monsters who are born with evil intentions.
Humans are emotional beings; we love, we cry, we laugh, we have a craving to help others and even though we must suppress it, we still want to be a part of the solution. The angriest of people who say they don’t feel love are lying; they feel love towards something because that’s why they are fighting against the thing that is a threat.
We all know love and are capable of loving all creatures, but we are taught that differences exist and that people are the dominant species.
We judge a monkey by her ability to drive a car and a bird by her ability to read a book. We became so materialistic that we judge whose life is worth saving on the bare fact that snails and fish cannot build houses made of bricks.
That is why we enslave and murder animals because they do not live up to our materialistic goals. Humans are the ones that created poverty, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, sexism and other horrible ideas. Ideas that somehow some matter more than others, that one race/gender/species is superior to the other.
A baby would never have a negative belief in their body, it is impossible for a newborn to feel hate and anger towards a certain gender or race. All those things are pinned onto our brains and tattooed on our hearts.
We are the same at our core, but we have walls and cages around it that were put there by society. I know it is hard not to get angry at terrorists and rapists, after all, we are all connected and we all feel negative energy rise when something evil happens to someone, but remember what I just described to you.
You can get angry at a person and you can even feel hate towards a person, but never feel hopeless towards humanity due to society that raised our generations.
There is a quote by Gandhi that makes me incredibly hopeful for the future – he said: When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it – always.
Doesn’t that make you a bit more positive as well? In the end, good people will win and they will bring back our planet to her natural state.
So, what would Gandhi do?
When I talk about veganism and how to deal with non-vegans I always come back to people who fought for justice from the place of compassion.
For me, my biggest inspirations are Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi. They both stood up for justice and they did it with love and compassion because they knew that no one has ever created a long-lasting change with wars and hate. It may work for a while, but in the end, it always strikes back. You cannot stop a war with war and you cannot stop murder with murder. And wars are murder.
Are you up for an exercise? I mean a real exercise that you will do right now and you don’t need any notebook or a pen. Just your head, which I assume you might be carrying with you at all times, am I correct?
Okay. In about 1 minute I will ask you to close your eyes and picture one person as a little child. Not just any person, but a vision of a slaughterhouse worker. You can create them in your head; they can look exactly how you picture someone that murders animals.
Once you have a vision of someone that kills animals in your head, I will kindly ask you to picture them as a young child playing in the fields or any other playground that you prefer. And just keep this vision in your head of them playing for a few seconds. See them laugh and scream with happiness; feel how their hearts are beating with joy. When you are finished, please open your eyes. Go!
Welcome back, dear. Now, please take a deep breath and hold a vision of this small child in your head. You can close your eyes again if it helps, but make sure to read this part before you do so. Imagine an adult slaughterhouse worker seeing this little child for the first time. Now imagine a little kid saying to a grown up that he loves him regardless of what he is doing to the animals. He tells him that he will always love him and accept him because they are one. Now open your eyes.
What do you feel?
Which emotion is the strongest at this particular moment?
Anger because you think a child should punish the adult? Joy because you have faith in this man?
What do you feel?
Now close your eyes again and place yourself in the little kids’ body. Hold hands with an adult and look them deep in their eyes. Now tell them that you forgive them and you love them. I know, I know, it’s difficult, but you must do it. Cry if you need to, be angry if you feel like it, but you must say it. Now repeat it and continue repeating it, until you are able to see the sorrow in the man’s eyes. He has lost a big part of himself when he let the world transform him into a murderer. And now he knows, but he had to find his inner child again.
This exercise might be difficult to do for a number of reasons, but it is still important to do it and repeat it daily until you are able to feel compassion towards an evil person. You must do this exercise regularly until you see souls and not people.
I am sending you my love,
p.s. – If you want to stand up for the animals and become an activist, I wrote a post with ideas on how to do just that. They are pretty easy and you can read them here.