I once saw my friend running to the aide of a child when he saw a mother hitting her child. This was a commendable act on my friend’s part, but what affect would my friend’s response have afterward for the child and mother. The mom would probably continue the abuse at home. We see and we can prevent some of the injustices that go on in the world. But how many injustices occur that are out of our view. We cannot control the actions and thoughts of others.
We have the prison system whose purpose is to temporally separate the bad from society. Its purpose is not to convert the bad to good. Most people will agree that most criminals are incorrigible. Many commit crimes shortly after being released from the prisons. We cannot change the bad by force. We can only keep them away from us.
We also see this failure in coercion in the countries we attempt to change that are ruled by dictators and religious zealots. History will tell us that military action and billions of dollars of aide do not reverse the course of their ruthless actions. Initially it would appear that our actions were working, but in the long run anarchy and suffering would reappear after our efforts and resources were depleted. We cannot change bad behavior by force.
How do we change the bad to the good? Obviously it is not by force. Force often results in the resistance of change. Many will often die as martyrs than to capitulate to force. It the Tip of the Writing Brush, it is said that we must purify our own minds before God brings others for conversion from bad to good. What does this mean? It means that we must set an example for others to follow. When we purify our minds of greed, arrogance and self love, we light the path for others to follow.