A couple of incidents regarding my daughter’s chickens have me thinking about human affairs.
Her hens were increasingly picking on one another and squabbling until an incident with a neighbors’ dog posed a terror. In response, they instinctively banded together, including their otherwise useless rooster. For weeks after, their antisocial behavior was transformed, focused on a common enemy.
A year later, the same thing happened when a red tail hawk picked off two of the hens in the yard.
That leads to the question:
Do we humans really need some villain, however small, to make our own lives meaningful?
We see it in politics, for sure. And in sports. As for personal development and ethical living?
I am convinced we need to keep an eye on Satan, in whatever garb, but also need to be careful we don’t start “preaching for sin,” as early Quakers cautioned. The fact is that in fiction it is much easier to create a believable bad guy than a good one.
So even secular novelists must make sure to avoid exclusivity in their vision.
We also need to keep another eye on the Light and its leadings. Otherwise, well, we’d still be chickens at the mercy of foxes and weasels.