As a boy growing up in Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas, I had no objective conception of evil. We were practicing Roman Catholics in our family, so our consideration of evil was focused on self: urges which could lead to sin—urges which themselves constituted sin. Evil was what lay in the barely hidden recesses of our personalities. There was no objective correlative of evil—the church taught we were evil embodied. Thus, we never regarded others as evil or even bad. What would have happened had we ever encountered anyone who was truly evil? Surely out there were people who couldn’t be justified or whose behavior couldn’t be rationalized away. What would happen when we met?
Donald J. Richardson continues to teach at Phoenix College. Those Who Sit in Darkness is his eleventh published work, all available from AuthorHouse. He still sings, does volunteer work, and loves his grandchildren.