Friday, August 9, 2013
WHAT DO I BELIEVE NOW...Post#3
In this current series of posts, I'm continuing with What Do I Believe Now?
PEOPLE ARE BASICALLY GOOD!
As I look back over my Life, I'm trying to recall when I first had this belief. Was it all the times that my parents told me they loved me? (Did I assume that all people were good like them?) Was it when I felt protected and secure in my family? (Were not most families like mine?.) Was it the innocence of my childhood, surrounded by good friends? (With friends like that, people must be the same.) Was it during my early school days, when each day was generally a pleasant memory? (Life was so simple and wonderful back then.) All of these experiences probably laid the foundation for my belief that people are good.
For those of you who had to overcome challenges in a less than perfect childhood, you probably believe that my early life was idyllic. It probably was in some ways. But I don't believe it was unique. Growing up in the late 40's and early 50's in Orange County, California....before the crowds, the smog, gangs, urban sprawl, and the drug culture....was almost a fabled existence! (While my father was fighting in World War II, my mother and I lived with my grandparents in Santa Ana. When he was discharged, we moved to Newport Beach. How bad is that for a 8 year old boy....sun filled days, barefoot, and always swimming. Life was truly a Beach!)
But, back to the subject. Like all of us, life has thrown me some challenges. But through it all, my belief in the goodness of people hasn't been diminished. A 30 year career as a Probation Officer, working with juveniles and felons, hasn't changed my mind. During my life time.... World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, The Gulf Wars, Iraq, and now Afghanistan...with all of their horror, inhumanity, and suffering, have not altered my view of people. Read the history of these conflicts, and you'll find numerous incidents of kindness, even between the combatants. People, with rare exceptions, are not "wired" to kill.
Examples of the basic goodness of people abound. Every day, whether on the internet, TV, newspapers, or through personal experience, we can find accounts that support this belief. Sometimes it takes a little extra effort to ignore all the "negative stuff,"and seek out the "good news." I find that I read the good if I expect to find it! (Like everything else, it's your attitude.)
I'm sure that by now you are convinced that I'm a "pollyanna." No I'm not....I am an optimist! It is a lot easier than being pessimistic or cynical. While I'm far from perfect, I do try to "walk what I talk." ( I'm not quite batting 500 yet.)
Well...I hope I've persuaded a few of you that People Are Basically Good. If I've changed one mind, that fulfills my Purpose in Life: To contribute...in some way...to making things better!
Looking forward to your comments about this post, or anything that's on your mind.
Let's have a conversation....