Friday, August 8, 2008

Most People Are Good

I'm writing this post with a cyber friend in mind. In his last post, he sounded very depressed about the state of the world, and in particular, racism in America as revealed with this current election process. And no, he's not black; he's white. He announced that he's going on a vacation for a few days to get away from it all. I hope he has a great time.

I want to tell you, all of you, that I think most people are intrinsically good. The includes the ordinary person and civil servants, from those up high to fire fighters, social workers, teachers, and the guys who do landscaping on the side of the road.

What we have in common is an affection for our friends, the places we go, and the family members, who for better or worse, love us and are loved by us.

As a nation, we are one big family.

We're in it together whether we like it or not. We have our feuds and our favorites. Sometimes we treat each other horribly, other times we make sacrifices for others that we don't have to. Often we don't want to, but end up doing it in the way of our taxes, or resisting the urge to be nasty to someone who we may think is deserving of our abuse.

Stories about good rarely make the news, and almost never make the headlines. This is why:

Once upon a time, there a boy. He was a good boy. He obeyed his parents, respected his neighbors and teachers, and worked hard to learn the things he needed to know in life. He was comfortable in his relationship with God, yet never put down the way others worshipped.

As a young man, he met a nice woman who had a nearly identical childhood. They met while volunteering to help a disadvantaged group. Later, they fell in love, married, and raised three fine children, who walked in their parents' footsteps.

When this man became old, he looked back over his life. It had been as he was - good. He was lonely for his wife for several years after she passed away in her mid-70s, but he had faith that he would see her again in heaven. His children visited him often, and gave him a nice older dog from the animal shelter to keep him company.

After living a life of happily ever after, he passed away at the age 82 with no regrets. His funeral was attended by his children, grandchildren, former co-workers, neighbors, and several people from the disadvantaged groups that he helped in his community.

A story about this guy at any point in his life would not make the news.

Nice stories tend to be boring to the masses. We like drama with our morning coffee and evening news. We always have; even the Bible is full of drama. We know that perfect lives are rarely lived, and that if you scratch the surface of anyone's life or develop the magical ability to read their minds and hearts, you'll uncover something about them that's not nice. This is true of ourselves too.

This doesn't mean others aren't basically good; it only means that they aren't perfect. Much of the bad or truly evil things others do is based on fear. Fear of peer pressure, rejection, humiliation, poverty, the list is long and possibly infinite. Often fear is based on not having the full view of everything that is going on... in other words, ignorance.

The news and Internet is full of anger, but under that anger is fear.
This is why this presidential election has stirred up so many people from all political camps - people are consumed with fear of the future, each for their own reasons and based on their view of the world. News junkies and bloggers run the risk of burnout from absorbing the fears, anger, truth, lies, misinformation, and ignorance of others.

As I sit here in my comfortable chair, I ask myself, why do I blog?

Fear. Fear for my people, in particular, and a love for all people, my country, and planet, in general. I have a wish to share what I know in the hopes that it could help someone else, or at the least, entertain them. I never care if others disagree with my points; we learn from this. It is only when someone is hateful that I ban them from leaving comments.

I understand that we don't see much 'feel good' news, and it's easy for many of us to become unhappy and even bitter when we read bad news, particularly if it might one day negatively affect us.

A periodic vacation from all this helps. All of us are part of the whole, but we are still a part, and apart.

This is a double-edged sword.

By being a part of the whole, we have the opportunity to interact with one another in positive and negative ways.

By being apart from the whole, we can feel lonely and bitter, or we can take a breather, relax, think about and do what makes us happy as an individual.

When we lose ourselves in something that makes us happy, it's almost like being a child again.

Playtime is a good time to refuel your mental, emotional, and spiritual energies. It's whatever makes you lose yourself into an activity. Fishing, camping, bowling, playing ball, swimming, going to an amusement park, dancing, sex with someone you truly trust, etc.

Being glued to the Internet and reading or watching bad news on TV is not a substitute for playtime.

Nice stories don't get ratings. Horror stories and tragedies do. For example, if the above nice guy had been killed with his kids in a head-on collision by a drunk driver, we might see a news story about this, but even then, little about his goodness and more about the irresponsibility of the driver.

Negative news stories focus on a few lives out of hundreds of millions of lives, and leave us with the false impression that many people are bad if not downright evil. A small percentage of the population are, but I stand with my belief that most people are good - or at least good enough. Even folks who piss us off royally usually have redeeming qualities.

You have heard that we all have an inner child. We actually have two inner childs; one good and one bad. The good one is happy and has the ability to have fun and play. The bad one is sad, consumed with fear, may be mean-spirited, and sucks in general.

Every now and then, pull the plugs on your TV and Internet, get in touch with your happy inner child - and play.



  1. Good post.

    If it bleeds it leads as Chomsky said.

    But, patriotism is dissent and love...i think this is often lost, most of the black, brown, and other bloggers I have come upon and read, as well as sincere and "real" radicals I have met in person deeply love this country and want to make it live up to its potential.

    that is the tragedy: they, we are painted as less than loyal when we are the most loyal and dedicated to this us of a.

    keep strong in the struggle.

    chauncey devega

  2. We are one big family--we may have issues (who doesn't), but at the end of the day, those issues shouldn't matter because we're one nation. Let's learn to love one another inspite of the differences.

  3. Beautiful post,
    Inspiring words! Although, I'm more skeptical than you on the goodness of people, you make excellent points in your post!


  4. I love your thinking. Having counseled people from all cultures, I feel confident when I say most people are good.

  5. Sure, most people are good. Even those we consider "bad" are mostly good people who are sick, in trouble, hopeless, etc.

    The problem is that commercialization, materialism and other horrors of modern society have turned the people into submissive proles allowing really bad and evil bottom feeders with no conscience or moral integrity steer society.

  6. Thanks good folks for the comments. I always appreciate hearing from you, and especially inspiring you.

  7. I think most people are only good when there is something to gain, or for the sake of keeping up appearances.

    Most people are about themselves first and foremost. Morals and integrity went out the window a long time ago....

  8. Folks are so complicated, Anonymous. What you said has truth, but I've known so many people who have made incredible sacrifices for others and they didn't have a thing to gain from it. The very same people may have also been selfish at times in their lives.

    Good is also relative and not to be confused with sainthood. To clarify, when I speak of good, I mean good enough and basically decent.

  9. "Folks are so complicated, Anonymous. What you said has truth, but I've known so many people who have made incredible sacrifices for others and they didn't have a thing to gain from it. The very same people may have also been selfish at times in their lives.

    Good is also relative and not to be confused with sainthood. To clarify, when I speak of good, I mean good enough and basically decent."

    I think it's great that most people you've met are wonderful, however I beg to differ judging by own experiences.

    I don't expect sainthood or perfection from folks, just consistency. And I haven't seen that very much.

    Basically, I don't expect goodness from anyone. I am indifferent until they have proven otherwise.

    Nice blog btw. :)

  10. Thanks, Anon, glad you like it, and Amen to looking for consistency in others before giving them your trust.

  11. This is off-topic, but do you get alerts when someone replies to a post? I've often wondered.

  12. Yeah. You can configure blogspot to send an email whenever someone leaves a comment and on which post. This is convenient because if you have a bunch of posts, you'd otherwise never know except from checking all of them which would be a pain. This morning I'm reading news on the computer so I see when they 'pop up' on my email, which has this feature.

  13. Thanks for letting me know.

  14. Kit, I went away on vacation last week, trying to enjoy myself and tap into my inner GOOD child...the heffa didn't want to come out and play much over course of the trip. Drama with family and racist rednecks kept my nerves on edge for 80% of the trip...*sigh*

    I believe that most people are inheritantly good, as well...some people just have a tougher time tapping into that GOOD (some of my peeps, never know how to have a good time, smh).

  15. Aww, sorry your vacation was messed up. Truly.

    And yeah, I know what you mean. LOL.

  16. I like this post a great deal. We all have the potential to be something worthy of our salt; likewise we have the potential to make this country great even in the midst of so many different struggles. But they are all struggles of one nation, one people under God.

    Like a family, we squabble, bicker, fight, even annoy, but when it comes down to brass tax, it is the governed who are vastly different from those doing the governing. This is how authority no matter the creed or by-laws are all alike. Our founding fathers wanted something different but those doing the governing have drastically changed that.

    The question is who will stand up to be counted in this election year? I am more often than not conservative in my views - being neither Democrat or Republican - I think they are all bought and sold and forget why they are hired.

    Who will stand up and make the Constitution and Bill of Rights stand for something - make all the blood that has been spilled to write it and protect it? The documents themselves far mean more than the government as an entity unto itself.

    There are many good people, I think more often than not. I like quantity, not quality, I must admit. I would give friendship to and accept the friendship of one good person, as opposed to 100 not-so-good people.

  17. Walter, thanks for the very thoughtful post. I second the motion for a large quantity of good people.

    I also like the way you viewed the topic in addressing humanity in general, how as individuals most of us are good, but as group with power we are pretty disastrous with our decisions and abuse of it.

    Remaining good is a challenge. As they say, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. We too often see this in unbalanced private relationships that should be fairly equal, and in larger social systems.


Hi, this is Kit.

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