Bad Boys & Sad Boys

I don't believe there are any truly bad people in the world. When you get down to it, everyone who acts mean, or evil, or cruel probably has a very sad reason for doing so.

Which isn't to say that people shouldn't be held responsible for their own bad actions: an explanation for someone's bad behaviour doesn't automatically excuse them. It's also a very very difficult thing to remember; when you see someone being cruel, or someone is unpleasant to you, your last instinct is to feel pity for the aggressor.

It's also very often not a good idea to respond to cruelty with pity for the culprit. If there's a victim of someone else's cruelty they obviously deserve your compassion first.

Bad boys often don't realise they're even being Bad Boys, through a lack of empathy or understanding. Bad Boys often don't realise that deep down they might just be sad boys: better for them to believe that they're acting justly and rationally that to believe that they're sad, hurting, and lashing out.

None of these are groundbreaking or revolutionary statements, but I do think it's an important thing to remember for two reasons:

  • The best foundation to extricate people from their own cruelty, is to always keep in mind that their behaviour is quite possibly rooted in sorrow.
  • I think it would be a truly horrible world to live in, if every Bad Boy really was a Bad Boy, rather than a Sad Boy in need of help.