Matthew Thomas
The Root of Evil We Don’t Consider Matthew Thomas

Just some thoughts.

In the past few years I’ve tried to get into the habit of addressing issues at their source; makes sense, right? Why cut a weed when you can pull it straight from the soil?

Money has been long-thought to be the “root of all evil”.

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows –Timothy 6:10

It’s hard to argue with considering the well-documented vileness associated with money since its inception, but it just seems a bit short-sighted. Does this imply that evil acts weren’t carried out before the invention of currency? Even the above Bible quote cites money as the root of evil simply due to its ability to detract one from their faith.

All of this seems to overlook why money is so sought after. Obviously, it can help one secure their well-being and even more than that if you acquire enough wealth. A 2018 survey done in the UK found that 1 in 5 people would become immortal if given the opportunity. Any given perception would have to tell us whether that’s a low number or a high number so for the sake of this discussion, we’ll say it’s the latter. Hang on a bit because we’re about to board the derivative train. If a surprising amount of adults appreciate the prospect of living forever then I’m forced to ask why? In a world where a reported 66% of people in the U.S. aren’t actively engaged with their job, depression is the global leader of disability, and over 3 billion are impoverished I’m left to wonder what we’re all clinging onto. I think that connection is life’s allure and driving force.

Money > Self-Interest > Connection

Root of All Evil? is a documentary from 2006 that demonstrates potential pitfalls with modern-day religions. If the point is taken then we’d have to explore the inherent need in mankind that religion satisfies. It seems to provide an apparent connection with a higher power, with self, and a like-minded community.

We can’t have a discussion about connectedness without acknowledging the millions of introverts worldwide. Whether you’re an artist, a gamer, a cook, a gardener, an athlete, or you simply like to “veg out” and watch TV and movies you’re connecting. With all hobbies there’s, at the very least, a connection with self and relevant surroundings, but sometimes it can go deeper. Artists get to share and discuss their art, gardeners grow and nurture life itself, a cook can serve their meals, athletes can compete or form teams. Even gamers and movie watchers, whether knowingly or otherwise, are forming connections with the characters, story, and dozens of people it took to create whatever they’re enjoying. Also, keep in mind that solitary confinement is utilized as a punishment worse than prison.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Most of this may seem obvious, but it appears that any man-made tragedy can be traced to a person or group’s desire for connection. Adolf Hitler rose to power by unifying Germans; appealing to their need for belonging. Human trafficking is thought to be an industry worth more than $150 billion to either satisfy the need for connection of the perverse or some form of forced labor.

A bit gloomy, but remember we’re trying to trace evil to its roots.

Chernobyl was a bi-product of trying to power and sustain life. The subsequent cover-up of the incident was an attempt for Russia to save face and ultimately perpetuate the connectedness that a shared patriotism provides. Ted Bundy’s victims were predominantly young females that fit the description of his ex-girlfriend. His actions seemingly sought out a very deep and profound connection, albeit ghastly and revolting, but a connection nonetheless.

Pablo Escobar was born to a poor family with 6 siblings. His journey for more is filled with crime and violence and ends after he’s raised a family of his own and engaged in various affairs with handfuls of women. It’s easy to dismiss it as nothing more than a ploy for money, but oft-overlooked is the respect and power typically associated; that keen and pronounced sense of connection. A lot of people today act in the name of their family and loved ones. Maybe the distinction is how far someone is willing to go to preserve the bonds they’ve created or the bonds they’d like to have.

I’ll leave you with a list of people that simply want to connect:

  • The person sharing dumb memes on your timeline
  • Cult leaders
  • People arguing politics
  • Telemarketers
  • Virtue signalers
  • People that small talk
  • Your boss
  • Friends that Snapchat the concerts they’re at
  • People that drive too slow
  • and People that just don’t like YOU

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