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May 1, 2007 / TildeWill

The Goodness of People

I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
~Ettiene De Grellet

I won’t say that all people are good, but I will say that I believe that most people try to do the right thing. The trouble of course comes in when what I think is right differs from what someone else thinks to be right. Or perhaps we agree on what is right, but our methods of carrying out that action are different. It is in these cases that a good person can seem to be acting against the good. It is also at these times where it is important to step back and see the person’s true motivations.

Some people feel the world is out to get them. What I’ve found, is that the world is too busy to even notice you, let alone spend the energy to get you. You’re more likely to get overlooked in a system than you are to be sought out for unwarranted vengeance. It’s easy to hide and blend in, it’s much harder to stand out. People don’t generally get joy from the suffering of others. Better still, most recognize that by helping others, they improve the environment around them, and make their own life easier.

And then there’s another driving force in people: they want to be helped if they were in your shoes. You see a person in the parking lot who needs a jump. You want to help them because you know you’d want someone to help you if you were in their shoes. Life is like that, and the only thing that holds us back is the fear of being taken advantage of. But even if we do not act, most people are good inside.

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