The Face of Evil

Man in the MirrorHe was 19 years old. He went to an ethnically diverse, upscale high school near Harvard. He was a popular kid, a good athlete, very bright, well-liked. He graduated high school early and was studying to be a doctor. He killed three people, critically wounded dozens and injured many dozens more … We want him to be a monster! But “he was a good kid“.

Listening to the reflections on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from his classmates and others who knew him and looking at his graduation photo leaves me perplexed. The rage and anger that arises from my gut at the sight of the bombing victims somehow does not match the image that comes from the reflections of people who knew him. It does not fit neatly into my black and white compartments. I want to hate him, but I see a person who seemed like just “a good kid”.

Smart, popular, athletic, young … what happened!!!?

Josef Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Idi Amin, Jeffrey Dahmer, Jack the Ripper all conjure up images of pure evil. Despicable, villainous, ugly, blackened souls, with no redeeming value. The depth of their depravity seems cavernous. We loathe them. We spit on their graves. We cannot imagine what possessed them.
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