Why does evil exist?
This question and others (such as “Why do we suffer?”) have plagued humankind since time immemorial.
There are Kabbalistic discussions about the existence of evil, but the most powerful and life-changing answer is that evil exists in order to offer contrast with good.
The existence of evil enables us to make a choice. This choice is actually necessary for our life mission.
With evil, free-will exists. Without it, we may as well be programmed robots.
The Power to Choose
Depending on the family and culture you grew up in, you might believe, more or less, that you have the ability to choose how to live your life.
We think of big-ticket choices such as: Where should I go to college? What should I do for a living? Whom should I marry? Or, should I get married? Where should I live? How should I invest my money? What groups should I belong to,” as being the main life-changing choices we make.
But according to Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, we have the power to define ourselves and make better choices as often as we want or need to, even multiple times each day.
Questions such as: “Should I stop gossiping about my colleague,” “Should I give a dollar to a homeless person,” or “Should I make an effort to be more truthful,” may even have more far-reaching consequences for your humanity than those big-ticket items.
By choosing from this moment onward, to up the psycho-spiritual quality of the choices you make, you give yourself the opportunity to exercise your free will to its fullest.
The Rebbe shows us that by exercising your power to make a thoughtful decision, by rejecting even petty bad stuff, you take control of your thoughts and lift your emotional and spiritual well-being to the next level.