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In most superhero stories and fairy tales, there is a precipitating event which turns a hero or seemingly normal guy into a villain. It might be an unfortunate fall into a vat of radioactive material. It could be a top secret science experiment gone wrong. Movies and books would not be as interesting without villains. We need the bad guys. Here’s why.

They remind us how close to the edge of bad we are. Anyone has the potential to become a villain, if we face our own precipitating event.

They help us remember that we will have enemies in life.

They teach us about the importance of early intervention.

They teach us that good intentions do not equal good results.

They remind us that evil can and will be defeated for good.

They remind us to deal with our past or it may deal with us.

Why do you think we need villains? What do they teach us?

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