Yesterday, I was talking with some friends about the Dark Knight. One of the scenes that we agreed that we liked was the boat scene with the two ships given the choice to blow the other up. I have heard nothing but praise for their choice to not do it, amidst the chaos and fear that takes them when they learn of it. More so, I feel what struck me was not the choice of the “free” citizens (as important as it was) but that of the prisoners.
With the prisoner throwing out the detonator, it serves as an example that all men, no matter how corrupt, have the capacity to do what is good. Men have a free will. That means men have the ability to choose the good. Yes, it becomes harder to do good actions if we continue to choose the wrong over and over. However, I have never seen it as far as that a person no longer can do something that is right. As a result, I hold that just because someone is in prison, doesn’t mean they cannot do something to help their society, or should be hated. Everyone’s potential is precious.
In a similar situation, we must remember that just like there are bad people in good places, there are good people in bad places. We cannot demonize a whole group of people, lest we commit an injustice against an innocent good person. Just like it is harder to do good when we habitually do wrong, it is hard to do good deeds in an environment where everyone does evil. The peer pressure is against them. One can go to the ghettos to see this is true. We could find many people we wouldn’t trust, but we can also find a few that are honorable. These people deserve respect. They are certainly stronger in spirit than many of us.