In my post “Double Standards for Women” I said that one mistake shouldn’t define the rest of your life.
I’ve been thinking about that since and while I still think it’s ridiculous to penalize young women for their sexuality, there are situations where an action can and should define you.
Child molesters, for example. I don’t care if you cured cancer, figured out cold fusion and singlehandedly eliminated world poverty. If you prey on children, that one thing overwhelms everything else.
I read some Buffy The Vampire Slayer fan-fiction where there was a pair of mystical glasses which saw the best thing you’d ever done and the worst thing you’d ever done. It then decided which was more important. If it was the best thing, you lived. If the worst thing, you died.
It makes you think. There are choices and actions and moments in your life which define you. Some are good and some are bad. So are we the sum of our decisions and how do you weight those decisions?
In the movie 2012, the Russian businessman does a lot of rotten things through the movie: bringing his girlfriend along just so that he can tell her she’s going to die with everyone else because she cheated on him, leaving the people who helped save his life to die, etc. But at the end of it, he sacrifices himself to save his children. Does he redeem himself with that one action or is he still pretty much a scumbag?
Five hundred years ago, it was heresy and witchcraft that was considered the ultimate sin in the Western world. Defying parental authority is considered death-worthy in some cultures today. Values change over time, which is what lead to the whole philosophical debate about whether or not good and evil actually exist or if they’re just cultural perceptions.
I’m a simple girl at heart. Good and evil do exist. There are things which are absolutely wrong and I believe people who do them or encourage them are sick and twisted inside. But I also believe in good, that there is something inside the majority of people which guides them. Call it a conscience, a divine kernel or the voice of God, but it’s there.