Many years back when I was not yet in high school, I used to get in fights with my cousin every so often. Since we were young, they were never really real fights, more like little skirmishes that most similar-age family members can identify with to one extent or another. I mean yeah, we got physical, but it was usually just your average preteen headlock with a few wild punches thing. The obligatory bloody nose was the worst it ever got.
One day when we got into another skirmish, my dad got sick of it and decided he was going to teach us a lesson. He said something to the effect of, “You guys wanna hurt each other? You guys think it’s cool and tough to beat up on each other. Okay then, get your shoes on and come with me.”
He then proceeded to take us out to the garage, where he said, “Go ahead! But if you fight, you’re going to fight until one of you can’t get up.”
Needless to say, my cousin and I exchanged quite the bewildered look. After that, I think I gave my dad some choice words, then ran out the side of the garage to the end of the alley, where I sat thinking about what had just happened. It is because my dad did this that I truly understood what “wrongness” or “evil” was. Yet, those times when the adults told us not to fight, all we could think about was fighting more. In a way I can only explain as weirdly ironic, by allowing us to really hurt each other, I realized that, well… we could really hurt each other. I understood the ramifications of physical violence more deeply than I ever had before.
I’m not quite sure how this story is relevant to the POE yet, but I feel like it is. Perhaps readers can elaborate if they see any potential connections.