Just as they’ve shown that–if the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning is some imagined disrespect from twenty-thirty-forty-two hundred years ago, supposedly shown to you by a person you met just once and haven’t seen since, or perhaps by a previous generation you never even knew and which you’re no part of–you’ll probably have a pretty shitty day, most of it spent wallowing in grievance-mongering and a tiresome campaign to get others to join with you and agree that you’ve been sorely abused in this life.
C.S. Lewis pictured hell as a state “where everyone has a grievance, and where everyone lives with the deadly serious passions of envy, self-importance, and resentment” (Screwtape Letters).
Lewis is often right, so I’m not quite ready to dismiss this idea out of hand. But I am ready to reject those who live with the “deadly serious passions of envy, self-importance and resentment” in this–our–world. They’re tiresome, greedy, jealous, and repugnant, and we really shouldn’t give them the time of day. Why on earth they want to create their own Hell in this earthly life by being stuck in a perpetual state of injury and offense is totally beyond me.
As for the afterlife, if I end up in Hell among the envious, the self-important, and the resentful anyway, so be it.
In the meantime, I might as well spend and enjoy my earthly appearance in the company of the grateful, the humble, and the pleasant.
And so I do.