Is Wickedness the Same as Evil?

ImageI think it’s time we all give the Wicked Witch of the West a break. I mean it’s plausible that the poor thing began her days with good intention only to have her deeds turn sour … and there is, is there not, a distinct difference between unintentional harm and purposeful, decisive damage—like when you purposefully meddle in someone else’s life when you now full and well you shouldn’t. (And yea, yea … I know, I write about Almira Gultch and her inferior sister from the East a lot, but bear with me, I’m going somewhere with this one.)

Being wicked is not, by any stretch of the word the same thing as being evil. Pure evil is deliberate. It is premeditated cruelty with the agenda to cause pain again, like meddling in another’s life when you know full and well you shouldn’t). And it is, in my opinion, unforgivable. Wickedness, however, is an entirely different story.

Everyone is guilty of falling prey to the wickedness that lives inside of us — we are, after all, only human and therefore easily influenced by our surroundings; we act different when we are hungry, when we are happy or sad, when we are tired, when we are drunk, when we are stressed, when we are content.

What? You don’t by my thought process? Hear me out … now, I want you to think about a time when you said something horrid … something about someone that was either unfounded or perhaps just uncalled for (yes, a time when you meddled when you know full and well you shouldn’t have). Why’d you do it? Were you intentionally trying to cause them pain or were you (gulp) just partaking in a conversation that may, or may not, have been based on hearsay. Or maybe you didn’t say it out loud — maybe you just thought it. Or what about the time you elaborated on something about someone else so grossly unflattering yet you didn’t really know the entire story, the circumstances, or even the verity of your words. It might have been mean, but it wasn’t pure evil. And it’s OK. Don’t feel bad. Besides, everyone does it every now and then — it’s called gossip (or meddling when you know full and well you shouldn’t) … and sometimes we can’t help but fall into the circle of impious thoughts and accusations where others are concerned. And though it might be wicked, and yes perhaps even mean, it is not evil. Because again, there is a difference between intentionally creating pain and inadvertently causing harm. Repeat after me … there is a difference between intentionally creating pain and inadvertently causing harm.

Now, for fear heading off on a tangent and not properly recalling everything I once learned about John Locke’s Theory of Mind and the thinking self — and because I want to keep the friendship I currently have with the Wicked Witch of the West (I know, you think she melted — she didn’t … she’s alive and well just like John Snow — I swear) I’ll leave you with the following mantra:

Sarve bhavantu sukhinaḥ
Sarve santu nirāmayāḥ
Sarve bhadrāṇi paśyantu
Mā kaścit duḥkha bhāgbhavet

“May all be happy. May all be healthy.
May we all experience what is good, and let no one suffer —”

Now the next time you feel a tinge of wickedness rise in your blood just repeat that — oh, and if you can figure out the preceding mantra, let me know. I could use a good mantra to reflect on every now and then :)

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DISCLAIMER: I’m a writer and an editor. And I try my best to make sure every post is articulate and free from errors. However, being that I edit my own work—and it’s next to impossible to properly edit your own work—I admit, occasionally there may be an error or two I miss. But doing so doesn’t make me an idiot so don’t be mean. Just smile, pat yourself on the back for finding an error and be glad you’re not the only one who makes mistakes sometimes … xoxox

15 Comments Add yours

  1. Arpita says:

    Wow! A Sanskrit mantra! :)

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