Harvey Dent in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Night says “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”
This is unfortunately often true of life.
Most human beings are complex and flawed. Most of us want to be good or at least to see ourselves as the person who is right, so we dislike criticism or have a hard time handling it.
We let people down and fall prey to our weak human natures – our tendencies to be undisciplined, noncommittal, and seek only what feels good in the moment.
We feel a part of something good. We build up an environment of acceptance, love, and companionship. Then, we inevitably make a mistake. They feel pain. We feel pain. We feel remorse.
The examples of this are limitless, small and dramatic. It is letting a best friend down by doing something immoral to them like making a move on someone they like or stealing. Or it might be letting your kid down because you didn’t do what you said you would. Or it might be forgetting your significant other’s birthday or just not making it special enough.
To you, this is probably just a sad reminder of the darkness in the world. However, there’s some good to be gleaned from the imperfection.
That is, while we are ever operating in the cycle of trust and betrayal, we have an important choice: resentment or resolution.
Resentment is choosing to be bitter and unaccepting of people’s humanness. It is the ego saying “How dare they!”
Resolution is learning from your mistakes. It’s thinking before you speak, cultivating relationships based on the understanding that no one is perfect, and avoiding big mistakes by asking yourself each day “Is this good enough?” Chances are it’s not.
A choice of resolution is a choice of reflection and feedback from loved ones. Learning to be okay with knowing we are works in progress is a wonderful step toward happiness. You just have to find others who can be helpers along that journey and who will work with you to bring about a relationship of loving forgiveness and empathy.