Day 20: Take the Good with the Bad

Every person you’ve ever known has had some absolutely horrible qualities and done some horrific things. This includes your dear writer and all of you, dear readers.

Some famous examples include:

  • MLK Jr. is said to have had multiple affairs (by some accounts more than 40).
  • Walt Disney is said to have had many racist, sexist, and anti-semitic tendencies.
  • My neighbor Steve often steals my parking spot.

But while these famous examples may push us to be mistrustful of anyone we meet, wondering if they have a dark side we don’t know about, they should instead encourage us to celebrate the fact that everyone is flawed. And for this reason, people should not be memorialized, but rather ideas. We don’t need to have an absolutely perfect person develop a philosophy, to have an excellent philosophy.

This fact should further encourage us to know that all these imperfect people have great qualities as well and have done great things (with the possible exception of my neighbor Steve).

I think that the whole picture should be taken into account before we immediately call for the deplatforming of individuals. Maybe it is best that we make it less easy for a person to influence others, but we should strongly consider the precedent we’re setting before we cancel somebody completely.

Whatever religion or philosophy you believe to be true or relate most closely with, if there is no room for a person to be redeemed, I wonder how you could possibly justify the belief in such a practice. After all, we’ve all done horrible things that we regret (with my neighbor Steve again being the possible exception. It seems that monster regrets nothing). Therefore, I think it’s important that we all take a breath and realize that mistakes are a part of life and shouldn’t necessitate us never being allowed to have an opinion on anything ever again.

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