I was in bed with some woman and suddenly realized I was about to commit adultery -- I came to my senses, as Hackworth did in Stephenson's The Diamond Age, but fortunately before "it happened" rather than after. I had obviously been motivated by lust, yet I was horrified at what I was about to do. For some reason the passage that promises God will provide a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13) came to mind. Accordingly(?), the woman walked down our hallway (we were in my bedroom) and the sound of small children came through the hallway door. The numerous kids broke the mood and we put off the consummation of our crime. I was relieved that I'd dodged that bullet.Then I woke up, relieved that in reality, I hadn't even been on the target range.
The thing is, every one of us has enough darkness in his/her heart to do what Hitler or Saddam or Stalin or Mao -- or, for that matter the unnamed young husband of Donald Hall's poem -- did.
Not that we necessarily would -- but I believe any of us could. I don't like to think I could, and I certainly hope you wouldn't, but we are all fallen.
And anyone's life, with a few bad decisions, can come crashing down -- like the financial system, but leaving a clearer picture of where the blame lies.