Somebody’s Villain

We are all the heroes of our own stories, major characters in others, passing cameos, and villains.

Depending on the person, this might just mean being “that guy” who cuts in traffic, the bank employee who foreclosed on a house, or someone who unknowingly dropped a banana peel on the street while taking out the trash. You don’t have to do it on purpose. In fact, I think that most times we don’t.

Good people are villains, too. Good people do bad things just as bad people do good things.

Sometimes, we become villains trying to do the right thing. Sometimes it’s just selfishness or even a combination of both. If a solution is sort of workable and suits us personally, we like to convince ourselves it’s the best one. Other times, we don’t feel like we have a choice in what we do.

Military personnel, no matter where they are from, do a lot of bad things. Horrible, horrible things. That’s how war works.

Image result for hiroshima nagasaki

I had to make peace with the fact that people I love and look up to have been villains in other countries. They did atrocious things, but they did it trying to protect themselves and their fellow soldiers.

Can I blame them for that? In the heat of the moment with my life and the lives of my friends at stake, would I really have done different?

Other times, people get so locked into a binary that they don’t see room for compromise. Especially in politics. We give up trying to find the ideal solution, get so wrapped up in our own heads, we forget the other “side” genuinely wants to do the right thing, too.

You can have the poor rely on the government or let them starve. You can help people in your own country or the rest of the world. You can force grandma to sell her house and stick her in a nursing home or abandon her to live alone.

Nobody stops to think maybe both solutions are wrong. It’s far easier to blame someone else, to make them the antagonist to our own reality.

By circumstance or choice, we are all somebody’s villain.

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