Inquiry: The bad guys shouldn’t have the last word

 

The bad guys shouldn’t have the last word. (In movies, books, real life.)

  1. True?
    Yes. It feels true. When I watch a movie or read a book, it sometimes feels true. (Not that it happens much there.) Also, in real life, it sometimes feels true.
  2. Sure?
    No. It is just an opinion. A cultural norm (for stories) and wish (for life). (Additional statement: There is a real life – as opposed to ficitional stories.)
  3. What happens when I believe that thought?
    • I feel tense. Closed in. A victim. I see the world as unfair, hostile, unpredictable. I feel that I don’t belong. I am at guard.
    • Where does my mind go? It goes to all the historic situations I know about where the bad guys got the last word, either because their victims died before they could get justice or where the bad guys never were brought to justice.
    • I also wonder why fictional stories mostly, with a few exceptions, don’t let the bad guys have the last word. It is probably partly to transfer and reinforce cultural norms of fairness, and partly wishful thinking. It feels better (at first glance) to imagine a fair world. But it is also deceptive. It sets us up with false expectations. And it brings discomfort when life doesn’t agree with our shoulds.
  4. Who am I without it?
    • I see life unfolding as it does, according to my stories of it. The bad guys get the last word, or they don’t. Either way, it is life unfolding. And either way, I can respond to it in the way that seems most appropriate. Without the shoulds, there is more clarity.
  5. Turnarounds.
    • The bad guys should have the last word.
      • Yes. Life can unfold in that way, so it will. It is life unfolding, expressing and exploring itself. If it is possible, it will go there.
      • It helps me see my own beliefs around fairness. (And the cultural norms and expectations these are derived from.) It is helpful to have ethical norms about fairness and work towards it, but it is not helpful to expect it. What happens when I expect it? Who would I be without that expectation?
      • It works for them, even if it doesn’t work for those harmed by it. They act according to what makes sense within their world. Their actions have infinite causes.
      • It adds to the drama of life. If we knew that the good guys always got the last word, we could just sit back, watch and eat potato chips. (Also, it would have to be somehow built into life – who is good/bad and the good guys having the last word – which is an odd idea.)
      • We all have different ideas about who the good and bad guys are. My ideas don’t necessarily match those of others. So which of these ideas should life conform to? And why should it in the first place? It is a blessing that life doesn’t conform to my ideas about it, no matter how noble they may seem to me.
    • My thinking shouldn’t have the last word.
      • Yes, that is more true. My thinking comes up with a story, and it is helpful to not let it have the last word – especially not if that that story is taken as true.
      • In this case, my initial story shouldn’t have the last word.

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