Staff Writer

I read AOL articles a lot; maybe I read them too much. I consider it “news,” which may be the appropriate term for it depending on whether or not you agree with what you’re reading at the time. What I have realized from reading the AOL articles is there’s an undercurrent of ignorance not only in the comments, but in our existence.

I have tried  —  ultimately, in vain  —  to place humans into categories of either good or bad. I suppose everyone has. After all, that’s the undying question: are we good or bad? Now I’m not trying to make this into an extremely philosophical article, I just want you to think about that for a while.

On Wednesday, Felicia Garcia, a 15-year-old high school student, committed suicide by jumping in front of a train, and while some people expressed sorrow, others took to the internet under veils of anonymity and wrote horrid things, such as: “There are seven million people in NY, do you think that anyone will miss her?”

That comment, which rightfully upset many, could serve as an allusion to the fact Garcia was relentlessly bullied. There is also a report that a man  —  a cop, no less  —  has been arrested for attempting to kidnap women and eat them. Geez. The only thing redeeming us from possible absolute savagery is law.

Well, maybe. That’s only true if we’re bad, but what if we’re good? People do a lot of great things for other people they have no obligation to. When Japan had the earthquake and nuclear radiation became a hazard, the senior citizens of the country decided to volunteer for clean up so the young wouldn’t have to be exposed to the danger. And there was a man who, during a flood, carried kittens in a basket on his head to protect them instead of fleeing. Let’s not forget about the dry cleaning places offering free cleaning for the unemployed who need the service for interviews.

If it’s not yet obvious that we’re okay, take a look at what happened in Brazil. There was a protest and one of the generals sent to break it up begged the protesters not to protest on his birthday. Well, the protesters not only stopped protesting, but they gave him a cake!

So what if we are good? How do we stay that way? And what if we are bad, how do we become good? Do we follow the footsteps of those who have come before? No, we cannot do that. In their path, they did not find what they sought; they did not find goodness. And so, we must follow only what they were following, but not their path.

Although I find it hard to come up with a binary truth value for our human condition, I am tempted to say we are more good than bad. Sure there are people out there who will make life hell for us, but then again, there are people who make it worth living.

Questions? Email Briona at

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