Love Thy Villain

I have a soft spot for villains.

To be clear, there’s no sinister plot lurking here. I strive to love everyone, to be forgiving and kind.

So then, why is it so easy to relate to the antagonist in a story, sometimes more than the hero? Villains are the antithesis of loving, forgiving, and kind.

There is brutal side to life. Some of us may even find ourselves imprisoned in the icy chill of its murky underwater cage – surrounded by a blurred view of an existence that seems unobtainable.  Whether the bars are made of rusted metal or solid gold, it’s where the villains live, a prison of the mind.

But villains are often just people who were subjected to harsh realities and didn’t weather their circumstances well. I can relate to that, can you? Don’t we all have those moments where we want to morph into the Hulk and leave a path of destruction that resembles our pain and frustration?

Life is messy. People are messy. Labeling and organizing help us make sense of the world around us, keeping us focused and on track.  But there is so much that doesn’t fit neatly into a box. If we rejected it, it’s like bypassing Monet and Van Gogh for paint-by-numbers.

We don’t have to trust our villains, nor do we have to like what they do, but shouldn’t we at least love them?

Our stories are so much better when we do.

Published by K.A. Cummins

K.A. Cummins is an award-winning author and artist. Her publications include Havok Publishing, Rattle, Blue Mesa Review, and her middle-grade series, Snow Globe Travelers.

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