We, humans, are ignorantly foolish creatures. In the ending of Some Like It Hot, Osgood says, Well, nobody’s perfect! (Philip). Just like Osgood does with Jerry, we constantly try to prove to ourselves and others that we are merely flawed and that we are ultimately good, Yet time and time again we act incoherently and do wrong to others and ourselves.
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How many times have we lied to people we know and love just because it was easier? Far too many times have we justified our wrongdoings as merely small mistakes, or that we didn’t mean to, or that others have done much worse. But these justifications are exactly what makes us flawed in the first place. The inability to see our mistakes and learn from them allows us to repeat them time and time again. Some of us have done worse than others, but we are all inherently flawed and imperfect. We all make mistakes, and we all hurt other people in one way or another.
As previously mentioned, everyone has does something, for lack of a better word, bad. It doesn’t matter if it’s a little kid or a grown adult who claims to be a saint, everybody has done wrong things in your life. Many of them may seem small and inconsequential to most people, but they are still inherently wrong. Examples of such day to day flaws humans make can actually be located in the acclaimed play, The Diary of Anne Frank. While the play itself tackles themes of humanity and goodness in the world in the midst of an evil situation, the people in the play themselves do simple average wrongs, that is as previously mentioned, still wrong. On page 536 of the play after Anne just had an argument with her mother she tells her father, I love you, Father. I don’t love anyone but you, It’s true. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. You’re the only one I love . . . (Goodrich and Hackett).
Even though Anne does retract this statement, the fact that she said this and thought this meant that a part of her really did feel this horrible feeling. She says something wrong but tries to justify it by saying she loves her father. The casualness of how she said it infers that Anne thinks nothing of what she said. Anne’s mother meant nothing to her at that moment. A small mistake, still a very bad one. There are many contemporary works that exhibit the same kind of trifle of a mistake Anne makes. A great piece of contemporary work that deals with themes previously mentioned is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind the main characters, Joel Barish and Clementine Kruczynski, though both have feelings and love one another can’t help but do wrong to each other. Clementine is impulsive and goes out to get drunk with other men and leaves Joel alone. In the process, while Joel, timid as he is, sulks and becomes bitter and naggs/puts her down for acting like a whore. At the end of the film, the couple has one final conversation before saying goodbye to one another in Montauk. The conversation goes as follows, Clementine: I’m not a concept, Joel. I’m just a f*$%#-up girl who is looking for my own peace of mind. I’m not perfect. Joel Barish: I can’t see anything I don’t like about you. Clementine Kruczynski: But you will, you will think of things and I’ll get bored with you and feel trapped because that’s what happens with me. Joel Barish: Okay. Clementine Kruczynski: Okay. (Charlie Kaufman). The two understand that it doesn’t matter how much they love each other, in the end, they will lose interest and end up hurting one another. Whether it be Joel offending Clementine or Clementine cheating in Joel, their mistakes and flaws destroy their entire relationship. They instead break it off then, to stop the pain of having to tear each other apart. Overall, no matter how good of a person or how hard and how much you feel you can become better, you will always have your flaws, and they can end up destroying you.
While people are naturally flawed, corruption through power exposes one’s faults and allows them to be able to use that power for their own benefit. This corruption allows a person to do unspeakable horrors to his/her fellow man. It takes a person’s faults to the extremes instead of day to day average faults. As Lord Acton stated, Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely. There are many such examples of corruption due to power being rampant among human beings. A few such examples can be found once again, in the beloved play, The Diary of Anne Frank.
In The Diary of Anne Frank, there is a myriad of situations where the darkness and corruption of humanity can be observed. The most prominent observation of this evil in the diary and arguably real life as well would be the Nazis. The Nazis, as most people know are probably the most infamous political organization because of the atrocities they committed against the Jewish people as well as other minorities. In the diary, Anne talks of how the Nazis took over Holland and how it affected her life just for being born Jewish. Anne states, Things went well for us until nineteen forty. Then the war came . . . then things got very bad for the Jews, you could not do this and you could not do that. They forced Father out of his business. We had to wear yellow stars. I couldn’t go to a Dutch school anymore. I couldn’t go to the movies, or ride in an automobile, or even on a streetcar, and a million other things . . . (Goodrich and Hackett, 514). The fact that children were not allowed to even go to a school is proof enough that humans are flawed, but it is due to the power that the fascists have that allows them to proclaim and permit such malicious and disdainful laws.
The Nazis had the power to do what they wanted in Holland. They had a dangerous ideology and a massive amount of support, who would dare attempt to challenge them. Alternatively, an even worse observation of such corruption is present in one of the largest organizations in the world right now, the Catholic Church. Just like the Nazis, the Catholic Church has and continues to use their power and influence to hide and carry out wicked acts. Almost every well-read person by now would know that the Catholic Church have protected priests who have been known to have molested and sexually abused children. A recent article by 6abc.com reveals that about 1,000 children, have been molested by priests in Pennsylvania alone. The article states, Those children are among the victims of roughly 300 Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania who molested more than 1,000 children – and possibly many more . . . ” (Levy).
Despite some institutional reform, individual leaders of the church have largely escaped public accountability,” the grand jury wrote in the roughly 900-page report. “Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all. (Levy). There are 1.2 billion Catholics in the world. These people put their faith on their religious leaders, leaders who lie and abuse their power to protect monsters like themselves. Leaders who proclaim to be acting by the will of God. Those priests were in a position of power that allowed to manipulate those children. They acted under the supervision of people they knew would protect them when the time came. Ultimately the flaws of human beings are prevalent among all positions of people in society. Especially positions of power, for those positions of allow people to act upon their flaws and while some overcome their flaws, others expose them and use them to hurt others. They make their flaws, themselves.
Everyone has their flaws, and many people claim that while these flaws exist and people make mistakes, those mistakes ultimately make us better and help us to progress forward. This can be observed in the arguably best video game of 2018, Red Dead Redemption 2. In Red Dead Redemption 2, the MC (the main character) Arthur Morgan starts as a cold-blooded killer but eventually becomes a better person. His best friend John Marston is the only one among his friends that has a family and is the only good man among his gang. In the penultimate chapter of the game, Arthur Morgan lays down dying. He sacrifices his life for John so that he could start anew with his family again and live a proper and simple life. He was only barely able to get his finals words out to his enemies (Dutch & Micah). Micah: Come on Dutch . . . let’s go, buddy. We made it. We won, come on. Arthur: John made it, he’s the only one. Rest of us . . . no. But . . . I tried . . . in the end. I did. (He crawls to the edge of the cave and watches the sunset as he dies.) (Santosx07). Arthur until the halfway point of the game was a hardened gunslinger. He had killed innocents and hurt people who didn’t deserve it and he paid for it in the end. But before he dies he gets his redemption by becoming a better man. Arthur changed and did good on his mistakes, his didn’t let his flaws ruin him. He changed his life around for the better, he started helping people he had wronged and even sacrificed his life for a friend.
However even though his example proves of that people can be good, but humans are still inherently flawed and make mistakes that destroy the lives of many. Take for instance the anti-hero, Walter White AKA Heisenberg, of the tv show Breaking Bad. In Breaking Bad, Walter White becomes what is basically the antithesis of Arthur Morgan. He goes from cooking blue crystal meth to make money to provide for his family, to cooking blue crystal meth to make money for his empire. This turn is especially found in the 5th season of the show, in the episode buyout Walter states, Jesse, you asked me if I was in the meth business or the money business. Neither. I’m in the empire business. (Quotes from Breaking Bad: Buyout.). Walter up until this point had been justifying his cooking of meth as a means for his family to survive after he dies. But he doesn’t even attempt to justify what he does anymore and understands that he is no longer father, husband, and chemistry teacher Walter White, he is now Heisenberg, meth cooker, criminal, and murderer. Later in the show, he ends up destroying everything he loves and built up. He lets his flaws and wrong choices ruin not only him but his family and friends as well. Ultimately while there are situations and people who overcome their flaws and make themselves better, people are still flawed godawful, and sometimes their mistakes can ruin everything in a person’s life.
Humans are the perfect example of a race that could be great but are just mediocre. So many times could we have acted better and progressed further than we have today. Our flaws and mistakes weigh us down, destroy opportunities and lives, and allows rape, murder, crime, and corruption to spread. The irony of it all is that we do have the ability to do progress further and act more responsibly as a people, it’s just that hypocrisy and our human nature prevents us from doing it, we’re all just the same flawed individuals at the end of the day. Which is why we need to start collectively attempting to not only be a better people, but start small and become a collectively better person, and only then can we go further than we have ever gone before.
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