Hello! Just your friendly neighborhood shadow here! As you might've guessed from the title, this is just a little PSA from me, and the rest of my crew, to let all of you people out there know that we are not as bad as we seem. You see, we "Dark Folk" have been getting a lot of bad press of late and, while I do admit that some of it is warranted, I must say that I feel like we are taking more than our fair share of flak from society. I mean think about it. When you say "shadow", you tend to think of darkness and evil, dishonesty and danger. It's all about what horrible, evil, ugly monsters are lurking just out of sight, waiting to snatch you up and eat you, right?
And then when you say "darkness", you make a lot of the same associations: evil, dishonesty and danger. Maybe death and despair. It's hardly ever anything good. It's all sinister and gloomy. You'd never say "darkness" and think peace, love, safety, trust, honesty, openness and joy. No, those are usually words you'd think about when you said something like "light".
Now, while I agree that some of these associations are valid, I do want to argue that it isn't totally fair to only use us to symbolize villainy and evil and sin. Please don't forget that even the darkness has its good sides. Don't believe me? Well then, allow me to show you:
Darkness can represent safety and secrecy rather than dishonesty and deception.
Darkness can represent protection, freedom, trust, honesty and even courage! It's the one place where you can always be your truest self without fear of judgements. I mean, there's a reason the phrase "What you are in the dark" exists. It implies that the truest self is not the one seen under a glaring spotlight, but the one seen under the safety and cover of darkness.
Similarly, as we like to "see" it, darkness represents a new level of honesty. In the dark, you cannot see, so you must rely on your ears rather than your eyes. You must rely on what you hear rather than what you see. Of course, your ears can deceive you as well, but a lot of judgement comes from people looking at other people and seeing their physical differences and casting them aside. When you are forced to listen rather than to only see, you can come to a deeper understanding than what sight alone could offer.
So let the darkness wrap you in its shroud and hold you close when no one else will. The darkness doesn't discriminate. We all look the same here.
It's also peace, quiet and solitude. It's safety from the loud chaos of the light.
And on the flip side, there are many crimes that the light has committed, yet we don't seem to talk about those as much.
For one thing, the light is harsh and hard. It is judgmental and blinding. How many people fall victim to delusions of grandeur, blinded by their own pride and ego? They perceive the world through eyes rather than ears and miss many important messages that life has to offer.
And the old stereotype about being attacked in a dark alleyway? While that CAN happen, statistics show that, at least in terms of sexual assault, you are more likely to experience it from someone you know, rather than from that shady stranger in the dark alleyway. You are more likely to be hurt by a friend than a stranger, a person of the Light rather than the Dark.
So tell me now, where is it safer to tread? Is the dark really that dangerous? Or is it all only a clever illusion? The real danger, it seems, lies right within your very own home, right before your very eyes, under the very light you seem to so admire…
There is no freedom in the blinding, scorching white rays of the light. You are just as incapable of seeing in the light as you are in the dark.
And on a more metaphorical level, the light is not solid. It can be bent and manipulated, just as much as a shadow can.
And doesn't the concept of being "all-seeing" sound a little… dictatorial? And yet, that's exactly what the light symbolizes! All-seeing, all-knowing. There are so secrets. There is nowhere to hide. Not in the Light… Doesn't seem so safe now, does it? The spotlight isn't exactly the most fun place to be under. It's far too glaring and intimidating. There is no way to escape its all-encompassing rays.
So yes. In the same way the Dark Folk have been misrepresented and antagonized, the People of the Light have been overrepresented in terms of their goodness, superiority, morality, purity and perfection. For example, when you say "light", you think of visibility, truth, warmth, peace, intellect, goodness and purity. It's all bright, shiny and pretty. It's trustworthy, safe and attractive. The light is kind and illuminating. It represents knowledge, love, hope, and all manner of other good things. But stop and think for a moment, does the Light really deserve ALL that good press? I argue no. In fact, the Light can be just as toxic as the Dark, as I have stated above.
And what about religion? One of the most prominent deities in modern society has sometimes been called the God of Light, Love and Life. He is the one we worship as the creator and king of all, the leader and father to everything in existence. And he is always shrouded in bright lights of white and gold. He is the source of all good things in the universe, and the source of all life… and light. He is intrinsically and constantly compared to and paired up with the Light, holy and good and pure.
But stop for a minute. Doesn't His Holy Book expressly say that he created the darkness too? And he declared them both good! So why, then, do we seem to forget this? He created Day and Night and pronounced them both good. And he created Good and Evil. So why discredit one as unholy and write the other as righteous? Especially since this God of Light is supposed to have created it all, from the brightest to the darkest.
And there are other verses in Scripture that attest to this God's work with the darkness. He shall hide his followers and children under the shadow of his wings, in a place of safety where no harm can befall them. And another verse claims that the Devil will appear to mortal men as an Angel of the Light in order to tempt them away from the good and proper path. And why would the Devil come as an Angel of the Light? In order to deceive the nations. After all, the eyes are easy to trick.
And the color of light itself, the color white, has often represented the very same things that the Light symbolizes, like purity, truth, honesty, openness, innocence and morality. It is a color of good character, of heroes and saints. Soft and pure as snow, or as a dove's gentle wing… White is good, heroic and honest. It is clean, clear, pure and untouched.
Then black has always represented the same thing that the Darkness has: sins and secrecy. Black is dark, deceptive and cruel. It is wicked. It is aggressive and soiled. But why? Why really? They are only colors after all. And perhaps there is a biological basis. After all, humanity was made to live in the light and not the dark. We are diurnal, not nocturnal. But have we not moved beyond biological basis? Or are these fears and genetics so deep-seeded that even in the 21st century, we do anything to fear the dark, including attaching morality to it? It's just a quantity of light after all. And yet still, we have managed to tie personalities, character traits and moral codes to the Light (or lack thereof)!
And then another thing perpetually seen as good, holy and healing is medicine. But where does medicine really come from? Well, modern medicine in particular has found its birth in laboratories. And the tests done to create it weren't always very moral. Some of our greatest findings in modern medicine came from the most vile, inhumane, deceitful tests ever imagined. Not very good, pure and healing now, huh? Of course not every medicinal and scientific discovery came from a bad place, but quite a bit of it did and that is what I am trying to explain to you all today. I am trying to argue that in order to save lives, you must lose some first. The results of science's more vile experiments speak to that belief. Medicine is just as much a product of death as it is of life.
And all of this goes to say that the Darkness has been unfairly represented for eons. While I agree that some of the hate is valid, it is inaccurate to forget our good deeds and paint the Light as the sole source of goodness and morality in the world. The Light isn't exactly the world's most just system either. After all, how many cases has history seen where a crime was brought to the light only for the people of justice to fail to deliver upon their titles? How many criminals got to walk free because of a broken justice system even after their crimes were brought to the Light? If the Light were really as noble and just and honorable as it claimed, there would never be a mistrial, nor would a guilty man ever walk free. Yet history has shown us a very different tale than the idyllic one I have just proposed to you now. Why is that?
Like I said, the Light is far from perfect. To deny this fact is dangerous, because it persuades the mind that the Light can do no wrong, and the moment one refuses to question an institution of which they are part of, the truest of troubles begins. The Light is not good, and the Dark is not evil. It is only what we make of them and how we choose to interpret and use them. Each side has committed acts of goodness and villainy. It is not a one-sided affair, and we would all be wise to remember that. So now all I ask of you is to heed this little PSA from the Dark Side and remember that we Dark Folk have hearts and moral compasses too. Don't be so quick to discredit the things we do, or to over-credit the things the Light does. We are balanced, both equal and well-matched in our sins and virtues. Remember that, I implore you…
But honestly, that's about all I've got for now! So I guess I can end it here… Well, anyway, this has been a PSA from the Dark Side and this is your friendly neighborhood shadow, signing off!
AN: Starting off 2020, I'm going to be periodically posting all the random, philisophical BS my crazy, stupid mind can cook up. This is just the first of many random little thoughts I've had and this is where we're starting it off: questioning the moral assignments of Dark and Light. (Feel free to judge and mock the pretentious topic and the threadbare plot. I just needed an excuse to post some rambling thoughts of mine, so here we are! Happy 2020 y'all! LOL!)