Lord Krishna appeared before one king, who was known to be wicked and cruel … “I would like you to travel throughout the provinces of your kingdom and see if you can find one person who is truly good” … “My Lord, I’ve done your bidding, but I have not found one truly good person.”
Then Lord Krishna went to the other court ruled by a famous queen named Dhammaraja, who was known to be kind and gracious … “I would like you to go throughout your kingdom and find one truly evil person” … “My Lord, I have done as you asked, but I have failed my task … I’ve seen many people who act unskillfully. Yet when I really listened, I only found people who are misguided. Their actions always came from fear, delusion and misunderstanding.”
Several people have been mean to me in my life, and in my wiser moments I’ve realized that they weren’t evil, but just full of fear. Perhaps fear of what would be left if they dropped the “act” which they felt they’ve needed to survive. Sometimes the act is “I know what I’m doing” or “I’m better than these other people” or “Life is a win-lose game. If I’m going to win, the other person has to lose.”
I remember one particular supervisor from so many years ago. He hurt people, all sorts of people. He smiled his watery smile when face-to-face and yet sabotaged us when we were gone. A friend of mine heard what life was like for this person when he was a child: lonely and suppressed and sad. It made me think, about him and also about karma. Whatever energy you put out in life will come right back to you, sooner or later. I wonder what’s become of my former oppressor, and I feel sad when I imagine the karmic results that are coming his way.
He’s not an evil person. None of us are.