Evil is overall unnecessary pain. To sin is to add evil. To sin, at first, can look enticing. To go do the opposite can look hard. If the majority of your deeds is evil, you’re considered evil. Yet, no one is all-evil.
Judaism teaches us not to consider ourselves evil. That makes sense. When one considers oneself evil, one permits oneself to do all evil in the world. Not the way to go.
The Sages say that no one sins unless captured by a sense of folly. If you’d think a little, you wouldn’t do it.
Moses tells us to choose life, not to choose good. That is because everyone always chooses [what they assume is] good.
There is a core in a Jew that cannot be touched by evil, that will always stay pure and innocent. The art is to connect to that place.
Reb Shlomo Carlebach says: ‘You never know,’ implying that everyone can surprise you and be the total saint where you assumed they were a committed sinner.
Judaism teaches that it’s more commendable and virtuous to be wicked and make a tiny bit of moral progress than to be extremely pious and not getting any better ethically.
The competition for ethical improvement is not a run against others but against our own old selves. This way, everyone can be a winner.
The rabbis teach that when someone was always a good person until they were 60, they’re out of the danger zone of ever doing evil.
Most people are decent and never make it to the front page of the paper.
In some things (rain), G^d is equally generous to the saintly and the wicked.
When we hurt people, generally, they’re going to stiffen and toughen up. Paradoxically, when we love them for who they are (please, never change), we enable them to improve.
There are only two kinds of people: people who divide people into two types and people who don’t.
Denying morality is not making it go away. Ethics is important to guide us in using our free will. Our (in)action determines our moral quality.
We say every morning in our prayers how insignificant we all are, but we still have a holy assignment to implement.
The Sages say that the [proper] reward for a good deed is that you did the good deed. I add: If, as a grownup, you do good deeds to gain, you easily can end up doing bad deeds to gain.
It is not true that when you do good you will receive good. Some (but not all) saintly people get a bad deal in life, and some (but not all) wicked people get a good deal in life. Live with it.
The Sages show that when one is good to villains, one may easily end up committing evil to saintly people.
Extremely rarely (if ever) people will be either wicked or saintly. Good deeds don’t prove that someone is totally innocent and only did good, nor do wicked deeds show that the actor should forever be rejected.
The Sages teach not to believe in oneself until one’s last day meaning, always be alert to the chance of betraying the true ideals.
Someone’s good intentions can be someone else’s painful evil. A white lie and the truth may hurt. The tongue is the biggest killer in the world.
If you love everyone, some rare individuals are going to take advantage. We collectively need to plot with the majority to stop such people.
Almost all people are so innocent (especially empathetic people, therapists) that they cannot (be they should) fathom how evil and destructive some people can be or they themselves could become. Trust should be earned, not come from people being tired of being tough.
If you listen enough with enough empathy, you can see the good in everyone. Which doesn’t mean that you should allow everyone all power.
Democratic society should restrict its privileges only to those who underwrite equality for all. Bigots should not get any freedom of speech, gathering, demonstration, press, being elected, or electing others. Politics is still run permissively because it’s executed by the naïve middle class.