Our ideas of good and bad are not factual distinctions we make. Good and bad are subjective, fluctuating, and often illusory divisions we tend to make in order to solidify our point of view. Lately I have been appreciating the practice of equanimity, which I’ve found to be a fruit of cultivating the art of mindfulness. I would define equanimity as the ability to not be easily swayed by false ideas of good and bad, right and wrong. Developing the insight of equanimity allows us to accept situations, people, and ourselves just as they are and not get caught in duality.
I’ve recently started corresponding with an old acquaintance who is currently in the county detention center. He’s awaiting trial and wrote me a letter a few days ago. In his letter he stated that while he sees there are two sides of him, one that seeks goodness and one who is, in his words, evil, he will probably always be on the dark side of life. He wanted me to know what I was getting myself into before corresponding further, for the sake of my own well-being.