Could you murder another person?
There’s a show on Netflix called The Push. It’s a hidden camera show with seventy actors all creating a scenario where they’re trying to convince one person to push a living, breathing persons off of a building.
You say, “I would never, I would never do that in a million years!”
In the show, most people actually push the guy off the ledge.
They’re distraught. They hesitate. But they do it. And then they crumble in shame and fear. And then the host comes out and says it’s all a show.
They end up laughing about it, but they laugh only to cover their shame.
I share this only as further proof that man is evil and bad and corrupt and broken and easily influenced. Why is this important? Because if you don’t realize how evil you can be, you don’t see the need to work on yourself and make yourself good.
If you think you’re naturally good, you’ll let your guard down. You won’t take things seriously. You won’t take little moments seriously in your life; because you’re lying to yourself. Telling yourself that you’re a good person. You’re not. I’m not.
And once you realize that, then you can start to really work on yourself.
One of Jordan Peterson’s arguments that he makes to his students is that if you were living in Nazi Germany, you’d probably be a Nazi.
I rejected that the first time I heard that, I talked to him about it, he said, “of course you did! No one wants to think that they could have been a Nazi!”
But statistically speaking, most people in Germany were Nazis. They either bought into it or just went along with it.
It’s important to realize this because we need to know and realize how evil we can be. Then we can really work on ourselves.
I think these people who did push the person off the ledge are better off in their life moving forward. Because now they realize the evil they’re capable of.
If you asked them that morning, before the show, “would you push someone off a building and kill them?” They’d say absolutely not. They thought they were a good person.
But now that they did it they know how easily they can be convinced to do evil. Even when their conscience says no, they still do it.
Now they know what they’re capable of and they’ll be more aware in the future, more aware of themselves, and more aware of the evil around them.
Real life example: I was with a friend years ago, and I said, “I could never cheat on my wife. Never in a million years.” and he said, “I could. I won’t! But I could see a scenario where we grow distant over the years, I let my guard down, I invite someone else into my life and I cheat on my wife.”
I was aghast. But then I realized how healthy that attitude is. Because now he makes sure he doesn’t grow distant with his wife. Now he is very careful of the people around him. Now he is aware in the situations he puts himself in, who he lets into his life.
He’s much stronger because he knows a weakness that he has.
If you go through life thinking you’re good, you’re much weaker than if you realize how evil you could be.