Ok. The Chippewa Indians <or Ojibwe tribe if we want to be technically correct> have a brutal word for evil.

Majimanidoo is Ojibwe <or Chippewa> for ‘evil spirit.’

It is especially brutal because by ‘evil spirit’ the Indian tribe means ‘someone born without a soul.’

This word embodies someone devoid of anything good. Evil in other words.

Well. That is some word.

Yes. Although I believe in today’s world we toss around ‘evil’ far too casually, I surely believe there is evil in this world and certainly evil people.

But. I struggle to believe that someone is just born with only an evil spirit. Maybe I simply refuse to believe that someone is born with not one thread of good within them – anywhere in them.

I could be wrong, but I believe the word I would like to use is ‘agathakakological’ which is ‘containing both good and evil’.


“For indeed upon the agathokakological globe there are opposite qualities always to be found.”

Robert Southey


Evil insideI am no psychiatrist, but I tend to believe 99.9% of people are born with both good and evil buried within them. I imagine in some way I believe that in all good there is a possibility of evil and in all evil the possibility of good <please note I used the word ‘possibility’>.

And someone who seems good, at first, might be bad in the end.

And someone who seems bad, at first, might be good in the end.

I also believe not every person kills, but every person is capable of killing.

I say all this mainly because we are all a bundle of impulses. Some good … some bad.

We are basically one half with a desire to be, and do, good and one half fear of not being good <in which we harbor some not-so-good thoughts … evil at their worst> and that each of us is a living breathing balancing act between right and wrong. Ok. Maybe not a complete balancing act but wandering a lot on the continuum between unequivocal bad and unequivocal good <because other than ‘Majimanidoo’ I believe the majority of us are somewhere on the continuum>.

But I imagine I am also suggesting you can have a soul and still have some evil <kind of the thought that we all have some sin within us>.

Let me explain.  Some people who have souls end up making choices that lead them to the evil they have lurking within and other make choices to avoid it. Yeah. I am suggesting all evil is a choice.

Therefore, I call it strength of character but I imagine some would suggest having a strong enough soul, or some connection to let’s say ‘good’, that they can make some choices that get them near to evil, but can pull back. Or maybe even examine the possibilities of evil … and leave it behind as they move on. Once again. Its a choice.

My personal belief is Evil lurks like a shadow following all of us around checking to see if we may have a vulnerable moment where it can get a moment of our attention. Or maybe it resides within our conscience insuring we stay on the straight and narrow of ‘good’ <as a mental checks & balance>, but other than that Evil has no tangible affect or outcome for the majority of us. It is, but is not of our actions.

Which leads me to when I think about this word ‘majimanidoo’, I end up thinking about a confluence of factors, or, when evil finds evil. Where evil therefore no longer lurks, but lives. It becomes something tangible, and it can become huge, bigger than the person it resides in. It feeds upon itself becoming darkness so dark that no light cannot defeat it.

This evil meeting evil suggests some people just cannot even have the capability of connection to the good within. They don’t even have that bridge available to them. Or maybe they simply lost the connection somewhere along the way.

Well. That’s majimanidoo but I still hesitate to agree with the Ojibwe. I am not really sure anyone is pure evil. And I do believe everyone has that bridge within <albeit it can get so dark it may be difficult to see let alone find that bridge within>.

I kind of like to think that people are made up of a collection of conflicting impulses. And that a person seeks some type of balance within that continuous conflict. If you believe that then evil is one of two things:

–          Where that person finds their peace <or balance>, or

–          Where one impulse simply overpowers the rest.


Good people do bad things.Evil vs good Reach_Out__by_xxwingxx

Bad people are capable of good things.

We are flawed we human beings capable of deeds so inhuman that it seems that only humans are capable of dreaming them up. But even the worst of us, the most evil in the eyes of others, are capable of acts of heroism and sacrifice far beyond the logical imagination. Redemption always seems to lurk somewhere within even the most evil of people <redemption being a variation of ‘good’>.


“Evil is not a thing. It cannot take possession of you. It’s the opposite; it’s a void, an absence of goodness.”

Jo Nesbø

In Life we can all end up on some side of some pretty bad things.

Maybe not true evil, but some ‘wrong’ things.

You do them.

Sometimes you don’t do them, but simply live with them.

And does the latter make us evil?

Simply because we ‘live with it’ even though we didn’t do it?

Balance. And recognition of wrong versus right. That is what defeats evil.


Suffice it to say even the goodest of the good have some evil lurking within. Even if it is simply in thought. I would like to think it provides balance in thought and moral compass <suggesting that maybe ‘evil’ weighs more than good and therefore even a small dose of it can provide some balance>.

Now. If you believe what I just wrote than you have to believe even the evilest of the evil are not completely devoid of some good lurking within.


I hope so.

Because if you don’t believe that then somehow you would then believe some people are unequivocally unfixable.

I am not naïve enough to believe you can ‘fix’ even the most evil person all the time … but … is it naïve to believe we should at least try?

Ponder all of this the next time you think about flippantly calling someone, or something, evil. Because if “Majimanidoo” is the criteria, you are judging quite harshly.


Written by Bruce