Is the World Becoming More Evil All the Time?

Loki The Avengers

This is Loki making the crowd bow before him.

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy)

It feels like the world is getting worse by the day. Like each day, a new level of evil is revealed. Until we wonder if we’re even safe to leave our homes.

But I was reminded of something this weekend as my husband and I watched The Avengers.

Loki, basically a super-villain with super-powers comes to earth to take it over. He kills without remorse.

Early in the movie, Loki forces a crowd in Germany to kneel before him. He wants humanity to fear him. He wants to rule over them. “You were made to be ruled,” he tells them. “In the end, you will always kneel.”

One old man struggles to his feet. “Not to men like you.”

“There are no men like me,” Loki says in a tone dripping with condescension.

“There are always men like you.”

Like Loki, every new “villain” in our world thinks they’re something new and special.

To weeks ago, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev killed three people and injured 176 more by setting off homemade bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

In the aftermath of this tragedy, I’ve heard people talking about how dangerous and evil our world has become. I’d be lying if I claimed I didn’t say it myself. How it feels like you can’t send your children to school, or go to the movies, or attend a major event without wondering if you’ll come home alive.

But the truth is there always have been and always will be men like the brothers who bombed the marathon. The methods might have changed over the years, but they’re the same type of men doing the same type of thing. Spreading fear because it makes them feel more powerful. They’re nothing new.

In the 1940s, men like them sent millions of Jews to gas chambers. During the French Revolution, men like them sent thousands to the guillotine. And in 1200 B.C., parents like them sacrificed their children to the false god Molech by burning them alive.

Evil isn’t anything new.

And in the face of the fact that there always have been and always will be men like them, it can sometimes feel like fighting it is hopeless and we should just hide away where we’ll be safe. It’s a natural human reaction to a threat.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

I think instead of hiding away, we need to do the opposite. When the worst happens, instead of running away, we need to run towards it.

Like Carlos Arredondo who leaped a fence and used his own clothes to help staunch the bleeding of the victims at the Boston Marathon. Like the first responders who rushed into the World Trade Center.

When we cower in fear, evil wins because we let it control how we live our lives. When we continue to fight for what’s still good in the world, continue to find a way to enjoy life and help those less fortunate than ourselves, good wins.

We can’t turn this world into a utopia, but we can keep fighting to make it a place worth living in.

What do you think is the best thing we can do in response to tragedies like the Boston Marathon bombing?

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