A student asked me about a new TV series in Israel that tells the story of a family in Jerusalem where the women in the family were cursed with marrying men who do not love them. Apparently, generation after generation, these women are miserable in their marriages. The student wanted to know if there is indeed such a thing as a curse, and if curses can really inflict such harm.
A curse reflects someone’s ill-will about another person. Human nature, we know from the Bible, is evil from youth. This is why our world looks more and more like a curse. Ill-will can also be directed toward specific individuals, and might inflict personal harm on them. Over the years, I’ve known several people, most of whom women, by the way, who could make a person ill by simply looking at that person. Thankfully, today fewer people have such powers. However, since our intentions toward others are generally negative, then even without intending, we are constantly spewing arrows at other people, which make all of us unwell and unhappy.
Curses aren’t incurable; we can protect ourselves from them. Since curses reflect ill-will, the protection against them is good-will. If we try to spread good will to everyone, indiscriminately, we will protect ourselves from negative thoughts.
This is true not only when it comes to curses. Since the world is in the mess it is in due to ill-will, the way to remedy the world is by spreading good-will. If we change our attitudes from seeking others’ harm to seeking others’ benefit, the whole world will benefit from our thoughts, and first and foremost we.
This is not as simplistic an idea as it may sound to some. Since human nature is inherently evil, we will need to muster the support of many people to create a social environment that endorses and rewards good-will, and condemns and reprimands ill-will. Right now, we are doing the opposite. Just look at who we idolize and think of the values they represent, and you’ll understand the kind of revolution that our society needs to undergo.
But we can do this. If we change our values, we will also change our idols. If we change our idols, people who become famous will be those who represent caring and concern for others. When we create such an environment among ourselves and in the media that surrounds us, we will change the world. Nothing more is needed, just a change of heart from bad to good.