It's a pretty thing to say, and you hear it all the time. No.... they are not evil. They are just misunderstood. It seems to be a running theme on Once Upon a Time, in fact. However, life is not a tv show that can be written to change characters that were one day manipulative and selfish and the next day giving. It doesn't happen in real life. People are who they are.
In fact, science backs this up. Almost all science studies on the brain confirm that by age 15 brain development slows and by age 25, it is pretty set. How their brain is by that time is how they will ALWAYS be. I have had friends disagree with me at times and say...no...people can change. People can become good people. We just have to educate them and help them to see the light. Then, one by one, I watched as EACH of these critics became more and more depressed and exasperated, as those they thought would change didn't. They feel they didn't ACT just right to convince their users to wake up and notice them, but the reality is that they are not WIRED to notice them. They are who they are, and SOME of those ARE selfish, mean, and manipulative.
I have learned this lesson the hard way over time. I believed my dad was just a product of his generation and his upbringing, so I would go on hunting trips I didn't want to be at, worked at his construction site (when I am not a construction type), and did other things to make him proud, only to have him continue to be critical, angry, unloving, and cold. It wasn't my failure to not convince him, but it was his structure to not notice how I feel. This was genetically shared with other relatives in the family tree and siblings that, likewise, couldn't notice that I existed and never visited me, nor asked if I was doing ok and needed anything. They were only focused on themselves, because they were WIRED to only do so. Then, there was my ex that fit this bill, but, again, it is very obvious from her parents that it ALSO was genetically passed down, and I can see it in my oldest daughter. However, that does not mean that EVERYONE in that family tree got that gene or had those kind of brains. Obviously, I didn't get that gene nor have that will. My youngest daughter is like me, caring and concerned about the feelings of others.
Yet, society continues to push forth the belief that people change. I think it has to do with their belief that salvation in Christ changes people. They are a "new creation" they are taught. Yet, again, I have seen again and again people get "saved" and continue being who they are. Before they were saved, they attacked others, and, after they were saved, they condemned others...for God. Ha. Before they were saved, they were having affairs, and, after they were saved, they were flirting with everyone at church. Now, I am not saying that ACTIONS don't change. They often do. They just change the OUTLETS of the natural inclinations to be in line with what they feel is appropriate, but at the core...they are who they are.
And, that is not bad. I am not saying this is evil or they are in sin. THEY may feel they are in sin to continue doing those things, and even Paul (who had attacked others "for God" in his confession) said that to his dying years, he was still struggling with "the flesh"...why? Because it was his FLESH....refer back to the science at the top of this article. The body is set. The brain is set. You may have a spirit, but your personality is set by your brain and THAT is locked until you die, as is that of others.
So, if someone is being an a-hole or a complainer or a stealer of your things or an angry man or a cheating man or woman, guess what..they always WILL be. Some would say that if your mate or "friend" is like this that you can and should endure it....for them. Well, first of all, they won't even notice you are sacrificing for them. Secondly, I CAN endure being in a warzone, but that doesn't mean I need to move there and set up roots and call it an act of God. God gave you a brain, and he wants you to be happy, so you should use it to that end, instead of blaming him for your choice to suffer. Your eternal creator...like any parent...only wants that of his children, and how many of you would suggest your kids go befriend or hang out with a bully? It is just common sense. It is time we started using our brains, too.