A bit of my last post has gotten me to thinking the past couple days. In it I said that there is value in everyone. I still stand firm in that thought. When I say there is value, however, I don't necessarily mean that it is positive. Having said that, I do believe there is a positive to take away from all situations in life. It is all a matter of perspective and desire.
While I was contemplating the worth of people who do evil deeds, a quote from one of my all-time favorite movies, Lord of the Rings, came to mind. It is at a point where Frodo Baggins and Gandalf are in the Mines of Moria, watching as Gollum scuttles over rocks in search of his "Precious," or the ring that Frodo is carrying around his neck on a journey to destroy it. Frodo looks on at Gollum with a look of disgust and says to Gandlaf, "It is a pitty Bilbo did not kill him when he had the chance." He refers to his uncle Bilbo Baggins who also had encounters with Gollum, yet stayed his hand when it came to killing the creature. Gandalf's reply was simple, "It was pitty that stayed Bilbo's hand.... [Gollum] may serve a purpose yet."
While Gollum was a sad, pathetic little creature who seemingly only lived to fulfill his own wants a needs, Gandalf had the wisdom to know that his life would serve a purpose. In the end, it did. Gollum clutched the ill-fated ring in his hands as he fell into the fires of Isendard, destroying both the ring, and himself. He had served a purpose, and in the end, it was for the greater good.
Add to that, Gollum had obvious split personalities at times. There was the evil side of him who served only to benefit himself, and there was the good side of him that was once kind and giving, who wanted to trust and be of use to others. These personalities went to battle with each other often.
I recently read a story about an Ivy League student who was strangled and shoved in a wall just days before her wedding day. They eventually found her killer, but could find no other motive for his crime other than workplace violence. Most people would jump to calling him a horrible man right out of the gate. Burn him at the stake. I can't say I disagree. What he did was wrong, and he knew it. Hence his hiding his crime in a wall, hoping to never be found out. The latter shows that he is not purely evil. If he was, he would have proudly shown the world what he had done, as serial killers do. No, he had a moment of weakness. His family had come out and said they were shocked with what he had done. His girlfriend asked that people not judge her for being with him. He must have had some good in him.
The bible tells us that without sorrow, we cannot have joy. Sadly, and very unfortunately, that sorrow is sometimes brought on by the evil deeds of our fellow man. However, it is a necessary evil so that we might know the joy when we have it in our lives. While some people may truly be nothing but pure evil, they serve a purpose.
The fact is that in this world, some of us are Gollums who serve us by reminding us that there is good to be had, a positive to be found in all things.