BEST. MOVIE. EVER!
Spoiler Alert: This has absolutely nothing to do with the movie, nor have I even seen it yet.
We live in Los Angeles so we are overly inundated with entertainment advertisements. In the mornings with my boys, we see around 100 billboards the whole five miles we drive to school (exaggerating just little). My boys were over joyed to see the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice billboard. I was too, it looks cool!
That actually developed into an interesting conversation.
“Why would they fight?” My oldest asks while my youngest continues to explain to me how he likes Batman.
“I have absolutely no idea! Why do you think they would fight?” I replied.
“Well, see maaaaaaybeeeee…” he was thinking hard.
I jumped in, mainly so I could guide the conversation, and said “They are on the same team and everything!”
“I know right?!” He exclaimed. He definitely picked up this exclamation from my wife.
“Wait, it’s kinda like you and Mason! Why do you guys fight?” I probed.
“Umm, we don’t always agree?”
“That’s true (I said putting it lightly – I wanted to say that this was the understatement of the year, but I went with it). So maybe just because you are on the same team doesn’t mean you have to agree, just like you guys.”
“Yeah” he was wide eyed and lost in thought.
I proceed to use the situation the best I could.
“People who are ‘Good’, are not as self-centered. They are really good at empathizing with other people and putting those other people’s needs before their own. It means they are more self-sacrificing for a greater cause.
People who are ‘Evil’ can’t empathize with others as well. They are more selfish and can’t or won’t see the world from other people’s perspective. Maybe they have no sense of what’s right or maybe other human beings are just objects to them, which makes being cruel easy. We are all good and evil. Sometimes we may behave badly, when our impulses cause us to put our needs before others. Sometimes we behave in a saintly fashion and put the needs of others before our own, resulting in kindness.
The real difference between this idea of ‘good and evil’ is based on each person’s view. A person needs to develop empathy. For most of us, empathy – or goodness – is a quality that can and should be practiced. As we practice empathy we become less attached to material things and status-seeking and become more open, connecting to the world and people around us. So more selfless and good.
You can be on the same team (or family) and not agree, but that doesn’t mean you hate the other person. You just don’t agree with what they believe. And that’s alright! That is what makes our world so incredible and diverse. You should try and see things through their eyes. Maybe it will help you learn something you didn’t know before that will help you become a better person that lives a richer life.”
I am not sure my four year old got it. By the end he was still telling me how Batman is his favorite. My oldest on the other hand, I *think* got it. At least the seeds have been planted in some really deep bullshit that hopefully will help his understanding and curiosity grow.
We are all good and bad; whichever we practice is what we will get better at!