Evil is everywhere and none of us is immune. We are all capable of evil. That is the lesson so many refuse to learn.
Adolf Eichmann, to the very end, believed he was not responsible.
I am convinced that there are many among us who, persuading themselves that their lofty and good goals justify tweaking and obscuring the means, blind themselves to their complicity in wrongdoing. And one sin leads to another. One twisting of the truth leads to another deceit which leads to a permanent lie… all of which become ‘reality’ in our sin-riddled minds. Again and again, I have seen little compromises mature into habitual corruption, so quietly in the background that they prompt little alarm or interference. It’s the same old story from the little old lady on the parish council to the lobbyist hero to the valiant politician. (It’s a story I tell in my novel, Wellspring.) But some sins are more public than others and they get all the attention.
The only sins we’re responsible for (and can repent of and prevent), though, are our own. Leave them alone, and they have the potential to lead us into great evil (often without us even realising it). But we are still culpable. We are the ones who set ourselves on such paths.
To quote St Maximilian Kolbe, “what use are the victories on the battlefield if we ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves”?