“Here’s the thing: neither one of those facets of Campbell cancel the other one out. Just as it’s not true that any amount of good deeds done for some people can repair the harms he visited on others; it’s also true that none of those harms cancel out the kindnesses he did for the people he was kind to.
Life is not a ledger. Your sins can’t be paid off through good deeds. Your good deeds are not cancelled by your sins. Your sins and your good deeds live alongside one another. They coexist in superposition.
You (and I) can (and should) atone for our misdeeds. We can (and should) apologize for them to the people we’ve wronged. We should do those things, not because they will erase our misdeeds, but because the only thing worse than being really wrong is not learning to be better.”
(Lots of good stuff in that quote. The layer that’s really caught my attention is how we often all to easily get caught into paying attention to an equation game and trying to maintain and/or balance this supposed ledger rather than the important part: apologizing and learning. Apologies are immensely powerful, for everyone involved, including the one apologizing. Apology is what creates the clearing for both learning and for reconciliation and reconnection. It is what “erases” things.
It is exhausting, both mentally and soul-ly, to have to constantly maintain track of everyone’s score (based on our judgements), and even more so, of our own scores. “Did I do a thing to erase that thing I think I did bad with the other week? But then they did this other thing that I think is bad, which therefore reduces the thing I did, and then I also gave them that, and really that should cancel this other thing out, so I think I’m at a +1 right now, which gives me the right to expect this….”
Foregoing the binary mindset of good/bad, and the relative levels thereof, are what allows for mindfulness, apology, transformation, love, and peace of mind.)