What Makes People Go Wrong? (Part Two)

Right in the beginning of the Ted Talk, Philip Zimbardo talks about how there really is no fixed line between good and evil; that there is always good and evil in all of us. The line between good and evil is permeable, good people can be swayed and seduced across the line and bad people can be pushed and counselled into doing the right things. Most people like to believe that the line begins with them on the good side and everyone else on the other side. This is the last point that I’d like to talk about. In my proposal I stated that in the end it all relies on perspective to decide who is evil and who is not, so why is it that these heroes are put into a good light; when in the end the word hero is just a title placed on them.  Most people believe they are doing the right thing, sometimes they know what they’re doing is not really what they would like to do, but they still push through and do it. My favorite lesson I learned from Mr. Zimbardo is that heroes aren’t usually in capes and have superpower, and that villains aren’t always stronger than the average person; but that we all have the potential to be a hero and there will be a time when we have a situation that will provide us with a choice. This situation has the power to do three things:

  • The very same situation that can inflame the Hostile Imagination in those who become perpetrators of evil.
  • Can also inspire the Heroic Imagination in others of us.
  • Or render most people passive bystanders and then be guilty of The Evil of Inaction.

So really in the end the right situation and perspective is also a part of what makes us into who we become.

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