I’m seeing these days lots of literature coming up about the old saying that every sinner has a future and every saint has a past. In theory I totally agree. In fact in India, Valmiki, the author of the epic “Ramayana” was a bandit before he turned into a saint. But this statement, the way it is being thrown around on Twitter and Facebook, needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.
It’s the sin we need to get rid of, not the sinner. It’s a higher state of mind actually, and human mind is very complex. Raj Kapoor’s Jis Desh Me Ganga Behti Hai inspired many decoits to give up their guns and surrender, but this is voluntary. You can never be sure how many of them lived civilian lives for the rest of their lives. You can never say that OK, this person has reformed. Sure, in the same vein you can never say that a perfectly saintly person is never going to commit a crime, but if you want to bet on odds you’ll bet on the saintly person in case you need to trust somebody, not a former swindler or a rapist. You will be putting your kid to a great danger if you leave him or her alone in the company of a proven, but reformed child molester, even if nothing happens. But what about leaving your child alone with a known saintly person? Although you can never be sure of anybody, you’ll feel safer with a saintly person.
The thing is, the statements like every sinner has a future and every saint has a past sound noble and esoteric when they’re just thrown around to sound…whatever. It’s very hard to apply them personally when the safety and security of your loved ones is involved.