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A Debt That Must Be Paid

The Writers' Block #9 - Theme: a debt that must be paid

My learned and distinguished colleagues, I understand that I may perhaps be the sole voice of dissent but I will use my short time not to condemn this man, for I believe his damnation is more or less a certainty, but to ask you all, for a moment before passing your judgement, whether you are truly acting from your beliefs or perhaps casting enforced and biased stones.

I apologise in advance for the hurt I may be causing some of you, but I believe it is worth the distress providing you are thinking clearly. We sit here deciding the future of this man’s soul. Eternal damnation or Heavenly delights.

It is, is it not, our job not to be led by emotions, but to look at facts? Yes - this man committed some appalling acts of abuse during his life, but he did do good. His time on Earth was spent entertaining, inspiring and doing much for charity. Must all this be brushed aside because of his demons?

I ask, as some of you seem to be so clear on the matter, where the line is. Has he paid his debt for the wrongs he committed with the causes he created and supported? I, for one, honestly, do not know. He abused many. Yet he raised much. Can his debt be cleared depending on how many he abused? One hundred? Ten? One? Are we truly agreeing that no matter how much good a man or woman does in his or her life, they stray once and all good is worth nothing?

Cultural icons exist and it is sad when they are seen to be imperfect. Yet, is there a single hero, if I may use that term, that isn’t flawed? Isn’t the character flaw the very thing that makes the individual stand out, that makes society follow? That extreme trait usually hides a demon and once the demon is seen, people hurl disdain and horror, conveniently forgetting the joy that has been had.

All I ask is this: as you condemn this soul to Hell to join the other ex-heroes, do try and ask yourself whether you know the truth or have been told the apparent truth. Were you there? For every hurt individual, there are millions of followers bemused by the vitriol. Let us not wipe the past clean and try to pretend it was a sanitised world in which we used to live.

Good people do bad things. Bad people do good things. No one soul is bad. No one soul is good. We sit here, in this court, and try to draw lines of acceptance. Let us not forget our responsibilities to each other and to the individual souls we are summoned to judge.

Has this man’s soul created a debt that is impossible for him to pay?

Was he let down by all of us?

I, for one, and I accept maybe the only one, will place my stone down and not cast it.

Thank You.


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