The Attitude Lounge: As Wicked as Evil

Kodwo Brumpon


“An evil doer (witch) has no distinguishing mark, except his or her deeds.” – Lesotho proverb

Is it sheer wickedness or there is something mentally wrong with us? All around us are systems that do not work well, but we have embraced them so tightly we will not let go. In fact, we have an environment that makes us sick; one that prevents creativity from being appreciated; one that encourages unethicality; and a system that actually kills the greater number of us before we reach maturity. Interestingly, we all talk about how bad the systems are – but we never take measures to correct them.

As my friend Jolojolo puts it – we have folded our arms, patiently waiting for that one person who will magically inherit the seat of power and with one stroke of his/her magic wand make all things anew. How that is feasible is still being debated in the hallways of the school of wizardry. If this is not the case, then how come we have been insulted, ridiculed and even disgraced over our “I don’t care” attitude, and we are very much unperturbed about it?

Is it not strange that we are still engaged in the same practices that got us into the mess we find ourselves in? Some among us have even become consultants to others. We want to make sure we keep the system running. Any change will mess up too many lives.

Maybe Einstein’s assertion that insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results actually has nothing to do with craziness. Maybe, we are simply wicked and actually enjoy being wicked. Honestly, we are so evil the demons are awed by our skills; they do not need to interfere, lest they would be fighting against themselves. Those ones assigned to our part of the world have simply become spectators. And the harder they cheer, the harder we intensify our efforts. How else can we explain the insensitivity of our attitudes?

How come we sit quietly when our children are getting the worst kind of education, and we simply tag along – going the extra mile of paying extra tuition for them so that they can pass the test? How can we keep mute when our health system does not have the needed facilities to give us the best treatment?

And to delight the spectator-demons, we allow a portion of the taxpayer’s monies to be used in paying for treatment of our leaders outside our borders? Is it not the case that we put them there to correct our systems?  If they will not do anything about it because they have opportunity to dip their hands into national coffers and get treatment elsewhere, and we see nothing wrong with it, then what breed of humans are we?

Ideally, insensitivity and wickedness are mutually generative. Any society or system that regards compassion as weakness, which encourages individuals to pursue their aspirations without regard to what happens to the rest of the populace; which separates the heart from the mind, and encourages the mind to dominate the heart; which fragments the individual into separate personalities and makes mincemeat of ethicality and talents; and which places nepotism above efficiency and effectiveness, in the long run it will degenerate into a ‘shithole’ and diminish the dignity of its citizens.

Maybe we know that we are very evil. That is why we have more ‘churches’ than hospitals and schools in any community. It is probable many among us believe our evilness can be exorcised. Sadly, we go to church without seeking personal relationships with God. How else can we be so insensitive, when compassion and the pursuit of truth are fundamental pillars of spirituality?

Our challenge as a society has nothing to do with inadequate intelligence or creativity, or even hard work. Being unfeeling to our neighbour, to anyone else other than ourselves is what has gotten us into this mess. The only way out is for us to become unselfish. There is simply no other way. Are you not baffled that even the best ideas are implemented poorly? It is because our selfishness gets in the way and we think of what we will accrue to us, instead of what we can do for all of us.

Life is more than acquiring wealth, and successes and fame. It has more to do with uplifting the dignity of each other. That is why the greatest moral value centres on loving every person as much as you love yourself. And so, let us gather a little courage to minimise our selfishness and work at uplifting every person whether we have any relations with them or not. Let us not simply talk about it, but roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty. There is simply no escaping the responsibility. If we do not do right, we will live wrongly. And as we all know, the only beings who enjoy living wrongly are the evil ones.


Comments, suggestions and requests should be sent to the author at [email protected]

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