The Monster Within

"'When you're a monster,' she thought, 'you are thanked and praised for not behaving like a monster. She would like to restrain from cruelty and receive no admiration for it.'"---Katsa, from Graceling, pg. 136.

I believe we are all born in sin. We start young. As kids, we're certain we "have" to have that new toy or we're hungry RIGHT NOW. It doesn't always occur to us that perhaps that toy is too expensive or maybe we have to wait a half an hour to eat lunch, but we're fairly certain, oftentimes, we will die if we don't have it. As kids, we can tend to be selfish and mean, to get what we want. I am not saying, based on the title of this blog, we are monsters. I am just saying we're each one of us prone to sin. We can act like monsters. Some people act like monsters their whole lives because their tendencies and wishes over-rule what they or others need. The quote above is from a book I just read (and enjoyed a lot for the most part) where the main two characters are gifted, or graced, with a talent or ability. Katsa has, or so she thought at the time, the grace of fighting. And her uncle, the king of a middle kingdom, was witness to it and is using her to hurt people. She no longer wants to be used by him, and she wants to do the right thing. So, she started a council where there are people throughout the seven kingdoms that will help her, help others. When she is praised for being helpful to someone, she sort of growls and is wondering why she can't just do good, which is the right thing to do anyway, and there be no praise? Just acceptance. But her reputation for being a 'lady killer' over-rides people's judgement. And perhaps they feel praising her for her new-founded kindness, will drive that behavior in?
I sort of see this kind of behavior in the public school system, in the way they discipline the students. Let's say Freddie, a 2nd grader, has the reputation for being the troubled kid. He acts out and disrupts the class. He gets punished. But if he has a good day and does what he's supposed to do in the first place, he is given positive attention to reinforce good behavior. I have no qualms about this; after all, in this day and age, what's a teacher to do? But, that said, shouldn't that child already be paying attention in class and not disrupting it? Is telling him he's not acting like a bad boy kind of a 'duh?' given, that he shouldn't be acting like a bad boy? Kind of what Katsa is saying here.
She goes on to say, later:"She knew her [own] nature. She would recognize it if she came face to face with it....A monster that refused, sometimes, to behave like a monster. When a monster stopped behaving like a monster, did it stop being a monster? Did it become something else?"---Katsa, Graceling, pg.137.

I believe we are sinners until we die. We're saved by His Grace, and when we accept Him and what He did for us, we're forgiven. But we will always have the tendency to sin. There will be, for as long as we live on this earth, the temptation and foolishness in us that makes us do what we do for ourselves that is not right. Thank God for His Grace, indeed! We might always have the monster within, but with a prayer and asking for forgiveness, we can be saved! When we're not acting like our monster, hopefully we're acting in His love.

What do you think? When does your monster make it's appearance(s)?
My two-headed monster feeds on anger and impatience, how about yours?

No comments: