Have you ever entered into the mind of a villain?
No, I don’t mean in that alternate universe where that officer had “one bad day” and it made him go crazy; no, I don’t mean that one scientist who got off to killing bad guys; and no, I don’t mean that one dude who picked up a notebook and got obsessed.
I’m talking about someone real. No matter how hard you think about it or however you relate to them, those other people aren’t real. If they are, they sure as hell don’t live in your neighborhood.
I’m talking about your everyday problems. Those bullies at school who can never seem to stop making fun of that kid, or taking advantage of their friend’s niceness. The mother that cheated on her husband and vice versa. The “John” who is balding and also heavily racist and homophobic… that type of stuff.
As a human, most likely you have witnessed at least one of the things I mentioned above, as well as many others. The world’s messed up, that’s just how it is.
However, that isn’t the only way to look at things. Why are we as messed up as we are? Why are there such terrible people out there? Why are so many people so closed-minded and ill-fated?
It’s one of those questions you have to be open-minded to answer. As an open-minded human being, I’ll let you in on a little secret.
It’s because we all have a story.
I bet you’re thinking, ‘Yeah yeah narrator, I’ve heard this all before,’ but hear me out.
We. All. Have. A story.
Have a few friends that love to brag about themselves, and sometimes make you feel inferior? They’ve probably been told that they’re smart and fabulous their entire lives, and love to see how people react to their accomplishments. They also probably have been outcasts a lot in their life and finally want people to see them for the great person that they are. It’s really annoying, but it’s really okay, too.
Ever been in an area where you were the minority and you were ignored? Yup, it’s because they aren’t used to being around people that look like you. It isn’t their fault, it’s just how they were brought up.
Ever been told really racist remarks by someone, or treated completely differently because of your race? They’re racist, but it isn’t their fault. It’s embedded in them. Scientifically proven: you can teach yourself a new way of thinking for 8 months, and it only takes the brain one 20-minute moment to turn back. No wonder you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
Ever been bullied? Your bullies probably have it just as hard as you do. They can get slapped around, abused physically and mentally at home, and have no outlet. Taking their anger out on weaker people is the only thing that they can do to keep themselves from feeling useless.
Ever been cheated on? The cheater probably lacked true happiness. Could be the fact that they’ve been devoid of affection their whole lives, and needed more than just one person to deliver it to them. Polygamy’s a thing for a reason, after all.
I personally have heavily disliked everything that I stated above, but I got over it when I realized that nobody is perfect. There will never be a person who was never a villain at least once in their life, and if you can truly understand where you messed up, you should be able to understand where other people mess up, too.
—- END —-
“Is that it?” Tiffany said. Her eyes were full of disapproval, and she eyed my paper one more time before she went on.
“This is for a publication in fiction, right? It feels too… real. If you submitted this to me and I was a fiction publisher, I wouldn’t accept it.”
“Then what do you suggest?” I asked. I was desperate at this point.
“Something not so sensitive. I feel like I’m reading an excerpt of an autobiography. Besides, the reasons you give aren’t all valid; some people are just seriously fucked up. You need to write something you can tell is… fake.”
“I’ve got it,” I immediately replied.
I tore up the paper I wrote beforehand, grabbed a new sheet of paper and my pen, and wrote my starting line:
‘Humans with pure hearts actually exist.’