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It’s OK if people are wrong and bad

It’s OK if people are wrong and bad.

(Understand as a short hand for them behaving badly and expressing opinions you disagree with, not as their souls having an inherently bad quality.)

It’s OK if people are wrong and bad.

That does not mean you have to like it.

You don’t.

That does not mean you can’t try to change it.

You can. And you might succeed and the world might become better.

What it does mean, what “It’s OK if people are wrong and bad” means, is that it’s not a cause for a mental short-circuit, it’s not “the sky is yellow and the sun is blue”, it’s not a time for panic.

Addressing the issue (a specific issue, or the more general problem of people being wrong and bad) might or mightn’t be urgent. I’m not saying it can’t urgent. I’m not arguing for passivity.

I’m just saying that it’s a normal state of affairs. It’s not a reality-breaking, shocking, soul-rending thing.

I’m OK and you’re OK.

A “normal state of affairs”, a SNAFU, can still warrant improvement, addressing. That’s fine. Let’s do our best.

Someone says you’re wack and you’re not wack? That’s horrible, but that doesn’t make it true. It’s easy to react as if this was completely disonnant, earth-shattering thing. It’s just that they are wrong and bad, and that can happen sometimes.

I’m not saying harassment, or climate destruction, or whatever, isn’t a problem and that we should give up on trying to make the world a better place.

I’m not saying we should leave these wrong & bad people behind and not try to fix things.

What is a good man?
A teacher of a bad man.
What is a bad man?
A good man’s charge.

Saying “It’s OK if dishes are dirty and need washing” still can mean that the right thing to do is go wash the dishes right away. It doesn’t mean “let them remain dirty”; it just means… dirty dishes? That’s a pretty normal, everyday thing. Same goes for people being wrong and bad. It happens everyday.

I should know because I, too, can often have wrong ideas and behave badly. All I can try to do is to be aware of that reality and try to address it.