Friday, August 28, 2009

Preferring Hell

You've probably heard of or even read the book, Why Bad Things Happen to Good People. Well, I'm wondering why don't bad things don't happen to bad people? And, to answer my own question, of course they do. The fellow recently released from prison in Scotland for his role in engineering the Lockerbie air tragedy has cancer. We'd call him a bad guy and cancer is a bad thing, no doubt about it.

But there are other times when the bad seem to walk between the raindrops that douse the rest of us. Someone lies, manipulates, or deceives and appears to get away with it, while you or I would be caught red-handed. Maybe to be good at being bad, you need to practice and most of us would rather not.

For one thing, there's the tiny matter of conscience. We feel guilty because we're capable of imagining how it might feel to be someone else. Conscience doesn't bother the bad because they don't care how others feel. The boundaries of their concern extend no further than the surface of their own skin.

I'm not certain how they manage to dodge the doom that would befall me. Perhaps
it's a matter of perspective and they really have a lot more bad luck than it seems. In The Chronicles of Narnia: The Last Battle, hell is depicted as the willful choice, over and over, of self over everything and everyone else. Eventually, nothing is left but an empty, dark, and lonely universe. Maybe that's the worst luck of all.

(Creative Commons image by Vibrant Spirit via Flickr)

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