Battling Our “Dark Side”

Dark side

by Augustine Tan

If there is one truth that nobody can deny, is has to be the fact that nobody is perfect. Perfection is unattainable at best, and the only way to ever come close to it is to do our best in anything we do. But what happens when we ignore our flaws altogether and allow ourselves to bask in the glory of others praising us for our strengths? The flaws will still be there, but there will come a time when we have to face them head-on.

The “dark side” of the human being is an intriguing concept. It is an acknowledgement that we all sin, yet it does nothing to change the destructive behaviour that causes us to sin. How can we say with humility that we are bad, when we don’t put in effort to start anew and be good? Might as well keep quiet and hide our “dark side” from others, lying and pretending to be something we are not in the process.

Perhaps there is no such thing as the “dark side” of our being. Could it be that people are unhappy that they commit sinful acts and use their “dark side” as an excuse? Happy people have no reason to harm other people, but artificially happy people have all the reasons to take advantage of others by deception. Truly happy people are content with their lives, but artificially happy people need constant approval and attention to fill the void in their souls.

The presence or lack thereof of a “dark side” can be contested. However, we have to be aware that there are narcissistic, attention-demanding people who use their artificial happiness for their own benefit. We have to be aware that there are sinister, corrupt people hell-bent on manipulating others to their needs. These people aren’t the terrorists we hear about in the phony mainstream media. They are the everyday people we meet who go about their lives with no real purpose.

The awake know better than to live with the lies they have been subjected to when they were still asleep. They have already made up their minds to live with honesty and integrity, never once looking back at the time when they blindly accepted that everyone was inherently “bad”. The awake need to live by example and encourage the asleep to take a good look at themselves. Hopefully then can we truly dispel the notion of there being a “dark side” in the first place.

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