Indignation Toward Evil
When we closely observe our present times, human beings nowadays do appear to rather lack in indignation toward evil. For instance, the number is rather low of those who become agitated at the account of a good individual suffering at the hands of an evil person. I imagine that most probably think it would do no good to become indignant toward evil. Unless there is some particular facet related to the interests of particular individuals, not only do they think they do not have to be concerned with such unnecessary matters, they feel that it is more than enough if they worry about matters that directly affect their own position. Even if they do not think that far ahead, they turn a blind eye toward justice because there are already too many matters in this tough world over which to suffer and worry. Such persons are apparently thought to be clever. Furthermore, when members of society view such persons, there are many who respect them as individuals of rich experience and many hardships in the world, so they are emulated.
Speaking of evil, politics are deplorable. Politicians and government officials are corrupt. Many instances of bribery and graft on the part of those who were leaders in society appear in the newspapers, and recently in particular, crime is on the rise. When we ponder that that such as juvenile delinquency lies in Japan’s path, matters cannot go on as they have; government officials are just as feudalistic as they were before the war; and democracy has been been improperly implemented. Relations between parents and children, siblings, teachers and pupils have become indifferent if not chilly. Oppression by taxation is too horrible, and although the concept of democracy is magnificent, it is actually manipulated by authoritarianism, and the people suffer heavily. In addition, miscellaneous and various detestable problems, scandals, incidents, and so forth are just too many to count. These tendencies all definitely have their cause in the fact that social justice is lacking, but ahead all we see are too many clever people.
Upon thought, though, it is not unreasonable that society has become this way. It is true in any age but the sense of right and wrong is very strong, particularly in youth, and the amount of indignation toward evil is considerable, but once the young leave school and start to work their way in society, when they come up against the practicalities of daily life, there is just too much of the unexpected, and as they accumulate experience, their way of thinking changes. If they rashly get excited about some fraud or irregularity and display an inordinate amount of righteousness, they find they are the recipients of unexpected misunderstandings, are kept at a distance by others, and are shunned by their superiors, so they find success in life blocked. Before realizing it, a sense of justice, a sense of right and wrong is pushed to one side, and advance is made in accord with utilitarianism. When such has occurred, one becomes known as a person who has grasped the secret of getting ahead in life.
Such behavior, cannot of course be said to be wrong, but if this type of person increases inordinately, the results will be that social institutions weaken, the mood of decadence spreads, and the more the increase of delinquent, criminal people. The present state of society does seem to well illustrate these trends. When determining the worth of human beings, from my long years of experience, it is no mistake to make an evaluation based on the amount of indignation a person harbors toward evil. The greater the indignation toward evil, the more there is backbone and the more steadiness and reliability there is. But to only have indignation is to put oneself in difficulty. Engaging in efforts to fight evil is apt to involve danger. Young people are particularly inclined to be hot blooded, and even though I do not say that they cause inconvenience to others and disturb the tranquility of society, to fight evil, wisdom becomes necessary. In other words, indignation should be kept deep in the heart, and with careful deliberation, rash measures avoided. At the same time, openly and boldly action should be conducted that is for others, for society, that are just and that are good.
In this regard, I will touch on my own experiences. When I was young, my sense of right and wrong was very strong, actually stronger than the average person, so when I saw or heard of injustice, I found it difficult to control my indignation and took great pains to control it. Trying to suppress my indignation was quite painful, but I thought of it as training so I was able to bear it, and of course it was also polishing of my soul. My sense of right and wrong is still strong but I think of injustices as divine trials and bear them.
Thus, in ideal terms the individual who does not have a sense of right and wrong is useless, but consideration of the means and methods to express indignation is necessary. Exceeding care should be taken to not stray from the proper course and cause inconvenience to the innocent, to use common sense, making sure that love and fellowship do not lack, advancing with God’s heart as your own.
Chijōtengoku, Issue 21, page 7, February 25, 1951
translated by cynndd
* * *
“Aku ni Taisuru Fungeki,” first published in Chijōtengoku, Issue 21, February 25, 1951, and reprinted while Meishu-sama still alive in the essays anthology for ministers Goshinsho: Shūkyō-hen (Divine Writings: Volume on Religion), page 39, March 25, 1954, has appeared in translation. Citation is given below for reference.
“Indignation at Injustice,” Foundation of Paradise, 1984, page 174.
“Indignation at Injustice,” Teachings of Meishu-sama, Volume Four, 2007, page 21.
“Abhor Evil and Act with Wisdom,” Reaching for Faith, 2010, page 13.
“Moral Indignation,” A Hundred Teachings of Meishusama, no date, page 46.