Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Line Between Good and Evil--Wisdom From The Gulag

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

In the middle of all of the mudslinging and polarizing debate going on everywhere, I have to remind myself frequently of this insight by Christian writer and philosopher Alexander Solzhenitsyn, something that came to him during his long imprisonment in the Soviet Gulag:

…. It was only when I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart, and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. Even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained; and even in the best of all hearts, there remains a small corner of evil.

…. If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
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