I once stood in front of someone, looked in their eyes and recognised no heart connected to them. It was a chilling thing to realise, that I was in the presence of someone who genuinely cared for no one and for nothing of substance. As I catalogued the instances in the past that supported my assertion, I was amazed at myself that I had not collated this information more carefully much sooner. This was someone who was not indifferent to the suffering of others, but delighted in it and congratulated themselves when they were able to injure someone who were considered to be disposable. Personally, I was enraged that I had ignored my instincts so completely and I moved away with the cold horror that comes from understanding that such people can exist in everyday life.
As I walked away, a stark contrast came to me. I thought of someone who had acted on my behalf and did so unselfishly. They acted for my benefit with no expectation of reward or gratitude, though I gave the latter willingly. When I thought of that moment, I was comforted. I picked up my step, lifted my head and strolled away a little happier, because if cruelty can exist, so can kindness.
Think about an instance of one extreme or the other and describe it. What happened, how did you feel and how did you respond? Did it give you hope or despair in human nature?
Writing Prompt: Nefarious vs. Laudable