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Old 08-23-2002, 10:33 AM   #1
Merri
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Silmaril A Modern Quest- Do You Think It's Possible?

I'm not sure exactly how to phrase this question, but I'll do my best. I guess what I'm asking is, do you think that it's possible in modern society to stamp out evil completely, or at least a little bit, the way Frodo did? Also, do you agree with Anne Frank when she said that there's a little bit of good in everybody? (why not stick with real people? [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img])

[ August 23, 2002: Message edited by: Merri ]
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Old 08-23-2002, 10:37 AM   #2
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A quest against evil in modern age? I don't think so. Would be cool though... And yeah, I agree there is some good in every1 (exceptions: Sauron Melkor)

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Old 08-23-2002, 11:41 AM   #3
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no, i don't think so.
i mean like, all of us are hUmAnS, humans sIn and sin is eViL. so basically, the only way to get rid of evil is to get rid of humans! [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img] i don't think anyone wants to do that though. lol. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
i think Anne Frank is right, i believe there is a little bit of good in everyone. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 08-23-2002, 01:45 PM   #4
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To be honest, I think it is not good if there is no evil. Evil must not get the overhand, but if you don't know no evil is, you don't know what good is.

My opinion is, every person is neutral. The way he grows up (evil/neutral/good) depends not only on the person itself, but also at the people around him. If they love him, he might(!) grow up to be good and loving for other people. if they always beat him up, he might(!) grow up to become a person with more evil thoughts. It can also be the otherway around.

NOTE: Where there stands he, you can also read she.

I agree in a certain way with Lady Elbereth, are animals 'evil' or 'good'? No, never noticed anyway. But to kill all the humans? No thank you.

[ August 23, 2002: Message edited by: Veritas ]
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Old 08-23-2002, 01:53 PM   #5
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never. evil is a part of who we are.
ps. i HATED the diary of Anne Frank. all she ever did was complain about her mother.
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Old 08-23-2002, 02:08 PM   #6
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BUT.. how would you explain that animals are not good or evil?? We are also animals, only we use our brain in an other way then the other animals do. Good and evil is the way we respond on other people. And it is a part of us because the things around us made us that way. That doesn't mean that if you were born somewere else and had different people around you you would have been totally different, but it has an effect on you. I hope you understand what I mean. English...
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Old 08-23-2002, 02:17 PM   #7
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I would have to say that no, I don't think a quest like that would be possible today. The quest to destroy the ring was, I think, mainly successful because there was a physical object which was considered evil. If there was nothing to try and destroy, how would it have worked? The idea of 'evil' is usually not focused on an object, which would make it hard to get rid of. I hope that made sense. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Veritas, I would try to explain that animals are not good or evil by your statement that all humans are neutral. They can make choices to act either in good or evil ways, but what sets them apart from animals is that a human mind would know the difference between an evil choice, which hurts someone or something else, and a good one, which would help or heal. The difference is the understanding.

[ August 23, 2002: Message edited by: Kaze ]

[ August 23, 2002: Message edited by: Kaze ]
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Old 08-23-2002, 02:26 PM   #8
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humans have the abilty to think and to create. it is from this that jugements are made, and from these judgements, the stereotypical concepts of good and bad are created. good and bad are just ways of looking at things. but are any of us truely good or bad? no. so who are we to judge? who are we to say what is normal and what is not? can you answer this? can i?
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Old 08-23-2002, 04:46 PM   #9
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Please stick to Tolkien.
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Old 08-23-2002, 09:00 PM   #10
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Isn't this topic sort of Tolkien related? I thought it was, being that it had to do with good and evil, and as LOTR was mainly centered around the battle between those two forces. At least, I intended it to be Tolkien related. Unless you mean the conversation is digressing . . .
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Old 08-24-2002, 02:40 AM   #11
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I like what Kaze said it makes the most sens to me.The only way to stamp out evil in this time is for all evil to tern into one brakable thing.
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Old 08-24-2002, 08:47 AM   #12
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wow, this is all very interesting, i never thought of good and evil being different then the way i thouht of it. thankyou Merri, for posting this topic, i learned alot.

[ August 24, 2002: Message edited by: LadyElbereth ]
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Old 08-24-2002, 10:59 PM   #13
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Short of throwing Earth itself into a volcano (no, that wouldn't work, make it the sun instead) I don't think it's humanly possible to eliminate evil. Humans inherently have evil in them. But also good. Unfortunately it often seems the default setting is 'evil'. There definitely is good and evil, but you can only really classify actions that way. However I'd say Hitler for example qualifies as evil. (or Sauron, Morgoth, etc) The one thing that bothers me a little in LotR is that the orcs are depicted as totally evil. I don't see how this is possible in any creature capable of rational thought and choice.
Great topic btw.
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Old 08-25-2002, 08:19 PM   #14
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*bows* Thank you, I always thought I was extraordinarily clever in dreaming up topics, after all, that's what I spend all my days doing [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]. Hm, now that I've had two days to think of nothing but this burning question (ha ha just kidding, I do have a life. Mostly), I've come to . . . well, as close to an answer as I can get. For me.

I don't think it's possible to stamp out evil thoroughly either. However, my theory is that it's not possible not because evil is so widespread (that is part of the whole reason, but not mine), but because evil mostly depends on opinion. Hitler didn't think he was evil, did he? So, how do we destroy something when we can't all come to an agreement as to what it is?

And as for my question on Anne Frank's little mantra (ha ha, I love answering my own questions), I do believe there's a little good in everybody. But once again, that's all a matter of opinion. I'll use Hitler as an example once again. Some people probably thought that Hitler was some grand leader, the savior of Germany, blah blah blah. So, it all depends, in my opinion.

Hence, you can never really destroy evil, and good is everywhere, you just have to look for it. My ideas on this are only about half formed, so sorry if they don't really make sense.


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[ August 25, 2002: Message edited by: Merri ]
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Old 08-25-2002, 08:23 PM   #15
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how can you think that there is some good in a lunitic that senslessly murdered millions of innocent people?
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Old 08-25-2002, 08:24 PM   #16
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Well, I didn't say I did, but he had followers, didn't he? So they probably thought he was good, for some reason. This isn't really the main point though, is it? I was just using him as an example.
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Old 08-25-2002, 09:15 PM   #17
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I think it's a good point - labeling something an evil action is based on an individual's point of view.
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Old 08-25-2002, 10:39 PM   #18
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True, but good and evil exist outide of one's point of view. The perception of good can be completely different from the truth. Everyone (I'm sure there's some bizarre exception somewhere, but generally speaking) thinks of themselves as essentially good, right? "Everyone is necessarily the hero of their own story." But I still have to wonder about Sauron types. Do you think he considered himself 'good'? (why am I questioning my own argument? ah well, consistancy gets boring fast)
The differing opinions on what is evil would make any quest difficult. Still I'm sure there's something we can all agree on. Like sadistic teachers for example. If anyone comes on a quest to rid my school of them I'm sure they would be welcomed with cheering and showered with praise and gifts. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 08-26-2002, 11:00 PM   #19
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Is there really anything EVERYONE can agree on? There'd probably be at least one disgruntled soul out there saying, "Hey, that teacher wasn't completely sadistic . . ."

One of the many wonders of the world, I think, is how different we humans are. You could go around the whole globe and never find one person exactly like you. It's a marvel, true, but if the destruction of evil were ever in the balance, it could be a darned nuisance.

[ August 27, 2002: Message edited by: Merri ]
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Old 08-27-2002, 03:40 AM   #20
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I'd rather not be Biblical in explaining anything, but if evil were to disappear from the face of the earth, then not one human being can be capable of even accomplishing the task. All we human beings can do is hope. Not that hope is useless. It would be cool, though, but this world is just too messed up.

I think that everyone has a bad side--there is always something in you that you do not like (like my feet for example, or my extra 10 pounds including the time and effort to loose it). But the hope for a better world is a sign of spirit, that we are alive, and being alive is in itself a way of conquering evil.

Everyone's a walking yin-yang. We can't be all yin, and we can't be all yang.

btw, Merri? I loved what you last said. Makes me wanna turn it into one of my sigs, that is, of course, if you wouldn't mind.
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Old 08-27-2002, 08:34 AM   #21
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I don't mind at all. In fact, I'm quite honored [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img].

No, a single person can't destroy evil, like Frodo did, but if enough people put their minds to it, maybe we could make a difference. A small one, but still a difference.

[ August 27, 2002: Message edited by: Merri ]
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Old 08-28-2002, 02:36 PM   #22
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Well, if you guys ever find the ultimate to stamp out evil, count me in for the quest.

I think we are all responsible for ourselves. I've made mistakes, but I've never done anything I consider evil, as such. But other people might percieve my actions that way. As NyteSkye says, it's all a point of view.

Tolkiens world was, in one way perfect, because the source of all evil could be eliminated.
So what's the source of all evil in our world? *looks suspiciously at her ring*
It would be nice to think there is one, that could be destroyed by a group of brave adventurers.

Evil and Good, often thought of as Light and Shadow? Why? Because one can't exist without the other. Light casts shadow and if there was no light what difference would the darkness make?
Maybe thats the key. A yin-yang, like Neferchoirwen says. Eternally interlocked, co-existing as one.

Anyways, I'll stop rambling. Awesomely interesting thread, Merri. Very deep, makes me think. If the whole word could read this topic you've started, it would make a difference.
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Old 08-28-2002, 02:48 PM   #23
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If both evil and good have to exist together, and everyone has a bit of both in them, then wouldn't it make sense to say that a new quest to stamp out evil would be to get people to ignore or not listen to the darker side of themselves? The evil would exist, but if it wasn't used or acted on by anyone, people would act for good.

I don't know if that made sense or not, but I hope it's understandable.
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Old 08-28-2002, 03:07 PM   #24
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IMHO....

Good and Evil co-exist, you cannot rid one without the other. Therefore I do not think it is possible to get rid of evils in society, but then that depends on what sort of evils you want to rid of. On a whole? Then no. Smaller scales, perhaps. I'm sure one day technology may rid of one kind of evil or another.

As for being a little good in everyone? No I do not believe there is good in everyone. If you think that there is, I guess that you also think that there is a little evil in everyone too?
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Old 08-28-2002, 03:20 PM   #25
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No, in LOTR, they had one target, that would rid the world of all evil if destroyed. I know there was a lot of evil in LOTR, but it all depended on Sauron, if he goes, it all goes. THink of all the different evil things today..would still be cool if we could though!
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Old 08-28-2002, 06:59 PM   #26
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wow! Two Merrys, except one with a different spelling! This is going to be a tad bit confusing (btw, it was me who said evil was a point of view- NyteSky said that evil and good exist outside people's point of view, too [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img])

But would it really make a difference if all the people in the world read this thread? I think most people would say, 'Wow, what an interesting topic. Maybe if we all set our minds to it we could be just as efficient as Frodo in making a difference', and they'd leave it at that. I don't think very many people would actively go out and start making a difference. I mean, hey, I'm the one who started this thread, but I'm still sitting here on my butt looking around me and thinking. I have yet to get up and act, and I think, in general, the fact that most people have yet to get up and act is a big part of the problem. The problem, of course, being the difficulty in thoroughly destroying evil, or at least destroying some evil.

[ August 28, 2002: Message edited by: Merri ]
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Old 08-29-2002, 11:16 AM   #27
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"making a difference." I'd live to do just that. and I believe that it all starts with ourselves---how much are we willing to sacrifice to make a better world? I'm talking in terms of what Frodo sacrificed.

Being a super hero to change the world isn't at all necessary. all we need is a passion to put our lives into, and then let that be a motivation to change the world for the better.

(hope i made sense...I'm getting quite sleepy) [img]smilies/redface.gif[/img] [img]smilies/cool.gif[/img]
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Old 08-30-2002, 05:31 PM   #28
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But making a better world doesn't necessarily involve sacrifice, does it? We could start with the little things, like giving up our seat for a person who obviously needs it more than we do, or holding the door open, or smiling to random people each day. Just doing those little things would make a difference, a small one, but a difference, and by doing them, we don't make any sacrifices.

Geesh, here I am preaching at people. *puts duck tape over mouth. realizes she hasn't finished yet. untapes ducktape* Ow, that hurt [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]. But yah. I think most people in the world are too concerned with themselves, which is another facter that makes a quest (like Frodo's) to destroy evil virtually impossible.
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Old 08-30-2002, 07:31 PM   #29
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I completey agree Merri. It all starts with simple things...like the ones you said....if everyone could just do those things, the world...would be so much better...I better stop here...I think I just might do that tomorrow...(something nice I mean)
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Old 08-30-2002, 10:00 PM   #30
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This is slightly off track from where this thread's been going, but haven't we been overlooking something? Not even in Middle Earth was it possible to destroy all evil. The Ring was a major evil, perhaps the greatest, but it wasn't all the evil. There was still pain, (Frodo) death (Aragorn, that was very sad), sorrow (Arwen) and no doubt evil people and creatures as well. Apparently a never ending battle. Didn't they even say somewhere in LotR that Sauron was just the latest incarnation of evil? That it would always exist? I'm afraid I can't remember where that would have been said. And as for all trying to do their little bit of good, great idea. I have a great place for you all to start too. I could really use some $, a car, a better pc, some more cool swords... [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] Can't blame me for trying.
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Old 08-31-2002, 01:11 PM   #31
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I only wish we could go on a modern day quest. I often find myself wanting to hop into LotR, and go questing. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] And I do believe that there is good in everyone(with maybe a few exceptions).
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Old 09-01-2002, 08:21 AM   #32
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I've read this entire thread and thought "Wow, I can't wait to put up my opinion." And now I'm having trouble thinking what I'm going to say. I'm just going to give it my best shot.

Good and Evil, Light and Dark, The oldest topic known to man. (and elves hobbits and dwarves)

I'm going to talk about Adam and Eve for a second so If you don't believe in them you are free to skip to the next paragraph. They caused somthing called orinial sin. Because they picked and ate the fruit from the center of the garden. And it's somthing we all have to live with. But there was sin before that. It just hadn't happened yet. Why would the snake tept Eve if there wasn't sin already there just not brought into the open yet.


Sin is always there. Evil is always there. It sits politely in a dark spot in our minds. Sometimes we will call upon this dark spot to get us what we want. So that you can anoy people, steel a bit of candy before supper, etc. Now this is not evil right? Well no. But there is a little evil in the process. Some people call upon thier dark spots for things much greater. Hitler wanted a German empire and in order to get what he wanted he used the evil in him. I agree with Miss Frank that there is good in everyone. There is also evil in everyone. The whole Yin and Yang thing. But that dosn't make people evil. There are evil actions and good actions. I think the point you turn evil is when you support your evil actions. But even then all is not lost. It's like the night sky. It seems all dark but there are still pinpricks of light (the stars) trying to get out.


Back to the original question of whether there could be a quest to destroy all evil. No. And yes. The popular idea of a quest is to throw a pack on your back and head out the door to find or destroy somthing. But that dosn't have to hold for all quests. Even now there are efforts to destroy all evil. You and I know that it can never all be destroyed but we can make it better.

Start with yourself. Keep your dark spot at bay and bring out more of the light. And by exaple others will do the same.

Before I shut up I just want to give my idea on one more thing. That dark must coexist with light. I agree that without evil there is no point in good. When the U.S. was attacked by terrorists there were wonderfull people that used the oppertunity to do good. But without that trigger they wouldn't have done things like that. There will still be terrorists and bad things will still happen but durring the past year there are many who rose up to extiguish a little piece of it. A very small piece that made all the difference.

Just like the Fellowship. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 09-01-2002, 07:31 PM   #33
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"I mean, hey, I'm the one who started this thread, but I'm still sitting here on my butt looking around me and thinking."

I was reading through the whole list and i came upon this (i think Merri wrote it - sorry if i'm wrong) All i really have to say is that I'm glad they're thinking. The world would be a whole lot worse if all of us went around just facing this evil, not even caring. Frodo cared so much he continued right through Mordor...we have to go on the same quest, through our minds, our egos - we might not know it or see it, but Mordor is living in us today.

Sometimes i wonder if i'm the only one who sees the horrible things us humans do - killing each other, killing innocent unborn babies, hurting each other - i just feel sometimes like i'm the only one not blind. I'm glad i read this - now i know i'm not alone (don't think me conceited - that's not how i meant to sound)

--Elven Mistress--
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Old 09-01-2002, 07:46 PM   #34
Gimli Son Of Gloin
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It is pysically impossible to get rid of all evil. As long as the Devil exists, his servents exist, like Hitler, Osama bin Laden, and many others, for example. It is impossible to rid the earth of evil.


Sorry to be on the negative side here, but a while back someone said something about helping people(opening doors, ect.) There are still so many people, it wouldn't make a difference whatsoever, except people would think better of you. Not unless everybody did those small thing, it won't work(Note, I am NOT against the idea, by all mean one should open the door for a lady, ect.)
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Old 09-01-2002, 08:11 PM   #35
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Even if it's just a tiny group of people - nine, like the fellowship - it's a lot more then if those nine just said, "the hell with it" and gave up. Even if one person does something right it will make a difference.

I'm not sure if anyone is familiar with Sondheim, but i think that part of the lyrics to one of his songs goes along with this very well...here it is:

You move just a finger, say the slightest word, something's bound to linger, be heard. You are not alone, no one is alone.

--Elven Mistress--
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Old 09-01-2002, 10:31 PM   #36
NyteSky
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I liked what you said Rose, "It's like the night sky. It seems all dark but there are still pinpricks of light (the stars) trying to get out." Describes me fairly well too. Not that I'm especially evil or anything. [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img]
Great thread, but we haven't solved the world's problems yet, or even found the meaning of life. So, most here seem to think that even the tiniest gestures like opening doors for people count. Count for what? Just trying to add something to keep this interesting topic going a little longer.
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Old 09-02-2002, 07:59 AM   #37
Neferchoirwen
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The ripple effect. Someone has to start it. That's how doing small things for people make a difference. They'll somehow feel important because someone cares for them.

It is physically impossible to get all evil off the earth. It takes more than just human guts to get it stamped out completely. no one deserves it, but it's there. It's here and everywhere.

And the only effective way to fight something larger than life such as evil is to start small, and to start at the other end--doing thoughtful things in the simplest way. Even a smile can change everything [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

[ September 03, 2002: Message edited by: Neferchoirwen ]
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Old 09-02-2002, 10:18 AM   #38
Gimli Son Of Gloin
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Or you can start big, huge military and police operations to get rid of mass amounts of warlords, drug-runners, and criminals. Then smile [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img]
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Old 09-02-2002, 10:59 AM   #39
LadyElbereth
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I want to share this story with all of you, because it really touched me and i hope it touches you too.

A few days ago my friend (i'm gonna call her Fran) was telling me all about her problems, her best friends moved, her parents are filing for a divorce, no one at her school or activities talks or hangs around her anymore. Fran was having a really hard time, but then she told me how one day this girl(gonna call her Marcie) came up to her and started talking to Fran for a couple of minutes and when it was time for Marcie to leave, Marcie smiled and said that she hopes to talk to Fran again,the talked about nothing in particular, but Fran said that she was so happy and that she knows that someone cares about her enough to come up and talk to her and that she could go on with life now. Well Marcie has know idea how big a difference she made that day, and all she did was talk to Fran for a few minutes. If everyone was like Marcie, the world would be different, you don't have to go up and talk to some or even go as far as opening doors, just give someone a smile. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] and soon you'll find out that smilings contagious. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

~LadyElbereth~
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Old 09-02-2002, 11:22 AM   #40
Kaze
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Wow--I left for a couple days, and look how popular this thread got. [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img]

Lady Elbereth, I really liked your story. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

And now for my two cents:
Quote:
The ripple effect. Someone has to start it.
And someone has to keep it going, too. If one person starts by smiling at a stranger, then that stranger will probably feel better and keep passing on the good deed--but there's always the people who couldn't really care less, and who don't think that it's really worth doing anything to help. I think that to really change things, you would need a lot of people who were determined to keep doing good no matter how other people acted--and hopefully they would reach enough people that the ripple would spread.
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