Of course, we ourselves sow the seeds of evil, nobody else.
Evil is born in the soul of a child more or less as a sickness is. A medical encyclopedia writes: there are two causes of sicknesses – breaks and defenses. When a grain of sand flies into an eye, an organism begins to fight it, the eye swells up – it is a battle against the grain of sand, and a man can lose his eye. Why? Is it because of the grain of sand? Or is it because of a defense?
The smallest grains of evil – are our rude, careless touches on the sensitive, subtly organized soul of a child, who, we think, doesn’t understand anything and, therefore, will tolerate everything. Due to findings of many scientists, people finally learned to wash their hands. Some mothers hot iron swaddling cloth – they try to protect their child from invisible viruses. However they may constantly disseminate grains of evil. Soul, as an organism, doesn’t know limits of necessary defenses, it sees a threat in the smallest raise of a voice, in the slightly discernable discontent of the mother, in a slightly negligent touch, and in a weakening feeling of love -perhaps, and the mother has just became tired and now doesn’t love too hard. But the soul of a little child elevates defenses and a seat of defense is born there, a seat of evil. Sometimes we also reciprocate with the same feeling, we also defend ourselves, and the pendulum swings. We rapidly run through the tunnel of evil: an evil feeling from inside meets an evil feeling from outside.
But if a vicious feeling born from an invisible grain of evil doesn’t meet a counter feeling then there is no tunnel, the evil feeling dissolves, it disappears.
A healthy and robust three year old girl runs home and shouts to her mother, panting with excitement, “You, you, you are a witch!”
She heard it on the playground.
How is one to answer this? To beat her so that she wouldn’t dare to talk to her mother in such a way? What would she grow up to be then if she at three years of age can say this to her mother -to her only mother! What is with children now that they can say “witch” to a mother!
But the mother replies, “Wow, my darling,” and smiles, “Do you know who you are to me? You are – my bunny!”
“And you, you are,” the girl is still indignant; “You are … a squirrel!”
That’s it. Emotion disappears. There is no tunnel. There is no evil feeling.
Here is a simple strategy of upbringing – not to counter childish vicious feelings with a vicious feeling of adults, not to create tunnels of evil, and in no way to encroach upon a child. Then those small vicious emotions, caused by grains of evil, which go toward us, will disappear and dissolve. But good emotions will find roots; they will turn to virtues, to the quality of character, which themselves will beat possible faults.
If safety of a child is violated and barriers occur on the way of development – evil will evolve in a child. If a child is strong then evil is expressed as aggression. If a child is weak and smart, then evil shows as cunning and mischievousness. If a child is weak and not smart evil reflects as insidiousness and meanness. The aggression of some children turns into aggression against the whole world; the aggression of other children turns into self-aggression. They become weak, passive, and lazy.
The answer to the question about the cause of evil can be stated definitely and unequivocally: any encroachment upon a child, upon a man, is evil. Encroachment causes explicit or implicit fear, and fear causes vicious feelings and qualities. For centuries a goal of parents was to instill fear in the souls of children. Together with this fear people sowed seeds of evil and then they said that evil is born with a child and that people must fight it from birth.
In fact the goal of upbringing – is to release a child from fears, and therefore, from evil.
Parenting For Everyone, by S.Soloveychik, Book 2 Part 1 Chapter 40