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How Does Evil Become Normal?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015 | Permalink

After finishing The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd, our September selection, I wanted to know more about the author and how she came to write this remarkable book. 

This is a universal and timeless story, made increasingly plausible as technology and news intersect. Do we live in a world that makes one human less valuable than another? Is it alright to track the movement of a human being like a FedEx package?

Sue Monk Kidd says she knew she had to write this book when she saw that the inventory from a house in Charleston included human beings alongside furniture and carpets.

"The moment hit me close to the bone, in part because of how real and close these human beings suddenly seemed, but also because of the sheer banality and acceptability of listing them as possessions among the carpets and cloth. Here was not just our human capacity for cruelty, but our ability to render it invisible. How do such things happen? How do we grow comfortable with the particulars of evil? How are we able to normalize it? How does evil gather when no one is looking? Discovering the seventeen names on the ledger was when I understood how dangerous it is to separate ourselves from our history, even when it’s unspeakably painful."

I hope this book has made you stop and ponder, and brought questions of your own to mind. We can all share those ponderings when we meet on September 8. Our evening session is sold out, so please sign up to join us at two in the afternoon. See you then.

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