This week’s Wordsmith Wednesday comes to you from Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s novel Good Omens. It reads:
“It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.”
Throughout the novel we meet characters that are presented to us as angels or demons or spawns of Satan or everything in-between, yet in this range of dispositions no one is fundamentally anything, good or bad. Everyone is a bit of both thrown together; demons that show mercy and compassion and angels who do some damage here and there. In this whirlwind of times, it is often difficult to distinguish people from being anything other than good or evil, but the reality of the matter is that we are all human. We will always have a bit of both in us, even if we don’t mean to. What one person positively accomplishes does not mean they are fundamentally good, it just means they were a person who strived and reached and did what they set out to do. We are, and will always be, fundamentally people.