There are three kinds of intelligence. And three kinds of evil. Here they are.

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Cat Macht

Guest Writer @ GoneWithTheWord

There are three kinds of acknowledged intelligence:

  • Intelligence quotient (the factual knowledge a person possesses);
  • Social intelligence (the ability to read others and present oneself in a socially appropriate way); and
  • And emotional intelligence (the ability to be self-aware and also aware of others’ emotional reactions).

I put forward that there are also three kinds of evil:

  • Factual evil. Using factual untruths (i.e., lies) that reduce a person’s self-worth or ability for personal growth.
  • Social evil. Intentionally making people vulnerable to harm.
  • Emotional evil. Robbing people of opportunities for emotional stability, security or growth.

Evil is an aggressive attempt to harm another. That’s my definition. What does this mean? If someone gives me a paper cut, is that evil? No. (Unless it’s like the movie Swimming with Sharks where it was done as a type of torture.) It has to have a long-reaching or permanent negative effect on the targeted person.

When someone is a mass murder, it is easy to label them as evil. But what about the other people, the ones we have all known who seem nice but have wicked actions in their arsenal? Here are the three evil types to watch for:

  1. Factual evil. For example, a mother I know told her son that his father didn’t want him or love him. When this father would show up for visitations, she would have hidden him away in the basement to play, or sent to his grandmother’s so that he would never know his father had come. She would then tell him that his father didn’t want to see him. She turned him into an angry, insecure and unhappy child. All because she was angry that he divorced her (I think we can see why he did.)

  2. Social evil. I work in a law-related field. One client was pressing charges against her husband because he had sexually molested her daughters. She said that she had known but had been worried about what her community would say if it got out. (She came forward only when he began beating her.) She subjected her daughters to abuse and they will live out her evil for the rest of their lives.

  3. Emotional evil. A friend of mine was at odds with his parents. From all accounts, they were old-school type parents who believed in control and image above all else. When he rebelled against them by refusing to live where they wanted, marry who they chose or present the social image they valued, his parents were furious. When his uncle abruptly got sick, they didn’t tell him. At the last moment, another family member alerted him to his imminent death and he was able to rush to the hospital and say goodbye. His parents had deliberately orchestrated that he would never have been able to see his uncle alive again.

Watch for evil. It is all around. Strive to overcome it, obliterate it and—at all times—avoid it.

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