“Nature or nurture?”
It’s an age old question. What really determines who we are? Is it our parents or how we were raised?
If you call someone a ‘bad apple’ enough times, will they begin to believe it? More importantly, will they begin to behave in line with your expectations? Or, on the flip side, will their inherent personality triumph over the misnomer?
Here’s a subtle twist. What if we are all ‘bad apples’? What about if we all carry around inside us seeds of evil but they are deeply buried behind walls of willpower, senses of propriety and societal constraints. Then, when the precisely right circumstances present themselves, when we are at our weakest, the seeds rapidly flourish and manifest themselves. Then what?
Having the seeds of evil doesn’t make us evil, does it? If we are completely oblivious to their existence we certainly can’t be held accountable for them? I mean, absent those right circumstances, you are an upstanding member of the community. You can’t be considered evil. No way!
But the seeds were there. They were always there, just waiting for the right conditions.