To the Thief on the Subway

To the person who stole my wallet yesterday while on the subway in Mexico City with my fiance, I’m sorry. I don’t know why you felt the need to reach into my pocket as the crowd shoved its way into the train car and take what was not yours, but I pray there was a good reason–perhaps your kids are starving and you can’t find a job, perhaps a loved one is sick, perhaps you never learned the difference between right and wrong.

For each of these things, you cannot be blamed, and I am sorry.

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The Pursuit of Evil

1.7       Nittai, of Arbel, taught:

Keep far from an evil neighbor;
Be not a partner with an evil person;
Never despair of retribution for the wicked.

Back in the Garden of Eden, everything was lavender and chamomile until they ate the fruit. The one fruit that God had said never to eat. The fruit of the Tree of Knowledge.

What we’re not told, however, is that it was not merely the Tree of Knowledge (Adam and Ever weren’t stupid), it was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. We can be wise. We can be wise beyond words. But no amount of wisdom necessitates the distinction between good and evil. We can know a thousand ways to kill a man without knowing whether killing is good or bad. We can no a thousand ways to change the world but not know which of those are good and which of those are bad. The power to distinguish good from evil, however, changes everything.

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