Zia Hassan

No Bad People

+++ title = “12” date = 2019 +++

“They’re just an asshole,” she says to me in the car on the way home.

“Nobody is ‘just an asshole’,” I reply. I have no idea where that came from, and I have no idea why I’m being defensive over someone I don’t even know, but there it is.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, I have a new life rule: there are no bad people. Controversial, but when you really think about it, hard to argue.

“Everyone acts from a place of joy or fear,” I tell her. “So being an asshole is just a mode of operating, of picking fear. But it’s not someone’s identity.”

“I don’t think that’s right. What about Hitler?”


The rest of the ride is silent. It’s hard to know if what I said was the right thing or the wrong thing.