Saturday, December 4

good people

this is not the first time i've had this kind of conversation with someone,
and i'm sure it won't be the last,
however i had it several times over the last week
so i need to vent a little right now.

what is so wrong or naive about
believing that people are,
in general,
GOOD people?

a friend and i were discussing some of the harder things we've heard in the news lately and i said something to the effect of,
"yeah, its so sad - cause you know, people are generally just good people trying to do their best..."
and he laughed right in my face.

awkward pause.

then he looked at me incredulously and asked,
"you're not serious, are you?"

actually, i WAS. and i still am.

he asked me how i could possibly believe that people are, on the whole, basically GOOD people? how could i believe that, with all the terrible things going on and all the prophesies that they will get worse?

...i'm sorry, how can i believe that?

how can i NOT?

i don't believe in being blind to the dangers and realities of the world we live in, but we are all spirit children of the same God and we all CHOSE to be here because there was a goodness and a trust in us that prevailed against alot of opposition!

i will openly agree that the natural man is "an enemy to God" and more naturally inclined to be scared and selfish, but that doesn't make us BAD - it makes us human. and guess what, our spirits, which chose goodness, are part of us too! so while we're naturally not perfectly good, we also can't be perfectly bad.

i don't remember where, but somewhere in my youth i heard this philosophy,
"there is no one on this earth whom you could not love if you knew their story."

and guess what -

i believe it.

even the WORST people that have or ever will live -
murderers, child molesters, kidnappers, drug dealers -
ALL of them were once children
with clean minds
clean hearts
and a living situation.

and, like all of us,
there are unhappy, hard and even traumatic things
that come with being born into a family
and situation that you have no control over.

if we went back far enough,
if we really KNEW their story -
i don't think we'd be so quick to assume
that people must be naturally bad
to be selfish, unkind, dark or abusive.

i 100% believe in the power of
divine AGENCY
and that every living soul has
the right and responsibility
to CHOOSE their own direction in life.

just because you were handed an abusive childhood
doesn't mean you HAVE to take the road of
becoming an abuser.

i personally know a lot of incredible people
who have suffered serious traumatic scars
and have chosen to live a life
oriented towards LIGHT and HAPPINESS
instead of using their pain to hurt others.

however,
if we could go back
and watch the path
that hurt,
scared,
scarred,
misguided,
and hardened the hearts of
the scariest people you know,
i doubt we could pass judgment on their
inherent badness as casually as i believe we often do.

and the same goes for people who aren't the worst ones you know,
but just the average dude who
cuts you off in traffic,
or is a pain to work with,
or never does what he says he will.

i genuinely believe that all the people we interact with each day
are just trying to do the best
for what they know how do to.

if there was shouting in the home
and shouting back kept someone safe,
then shouting will be the tool of choice
when that person feels threatened,
even if the 'threat' is as simple as possibly purchasing the last doughnut of their favorite flavor!

i'm not saying it's right, i'm saying it's people living or surviving as best as they currently know how.

in aladdin, the hero of the story
is a theif
and we're ok with that.
why?
because we are shown that
he has a good heart, good intentions
and that he is living the only way he knows how,
"gotta eat to live, gotta steal to eat, tell you all about it when i've got the time...!"

we COULD call up disney and tell them
that for all his 'good intentions',
aladdin obviously hadn't tried hard enough
to get an honest job
so he could AFFORD to pay for his food
instead of stealing it!
unacceptable!

but...if he was an orphan on the street,
what kind of education would he have had?
what job would he have been qualified for
that would have allowed him to get out of poverty?

well, he should have gone to night school!
or a trade school!
or gotten a miro-loan from a non-profit organization!
or done SOMETHING so he wouldn't be a menace to society, RIGHT?!...

...it's a silly example, but can you see what i'm getting at?

we really are in no position to judge.
so why not give people the benefit of the doubt that their intentions are better than they seem?

i don't profess to always have a loving,
non-judgmental attitude towards others.

and i can't say that i have completely forgiven
or that i'll ever love
people who i know have hurt my loved ones.

and i most definitely am not one to say that you can just trust anyone you meet
and leave your safety or the safety of your children in their care - trust needs to be earned.

however,
i still do, very sincerely,
believe that ALL of us,
as equally noble children of the same God,
all have the same potential to become
clean, powerful, happy
celestial beings
and that we are all
down here,
living out our lives,
with our own personal mix of
baggage, education, emotions, beliefs and needs
and that we're doing it
the best that we currently know how.

and i try my best to treat people as such.

so yes,
i believe that people are generally good.

that doesn't qualify them for automatic trust
and it doesn't mean we're in the same place
in our progression or in our life choices.

what it does mean
is that there's hope.

hope that,
with time, love, and a greater understanding
of their inherent awesomeness,
even the worst people can chose light
instead of darkness.

hope that we can turn whatever trials we face here
into something beautiful
that will make us,
our futures
and our world a better place.

and if our Father has that kind of hope for each of us,
then i think there's nothing wrong
with my trying to do the same.

that's all.
thank you.

*step off soap box*

7 comments:

mostlyprobably said...

I know I am scary, but I am a blog stalker. I found your blog through Amanda's. This blog made me think of this:

It's a wonder I haven't abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.
- Anne Frank

Ross & Amanda Goodman- but mostly Amanda :) said...

Oh Emily. You are amazing. I full-heartefly agree with you, and am humbled after reading this.

angela said...

I just finished reading "Out of the Silent Planet" by C.S. Lewis, and this post reminds me of a convention he used: in a different world, full of different but intelligent beings, they didn't use the word "bad" in describing people who were lost, confused, and sunk in wickedness; they used the word "bent." I think that is such a great analogy.

Orrin Jelo said...

http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1987/01/11/

Mindi said...

Emily,
This was your best post by far,in my opinion. So motivational! It really helped me in the situation I was in. I miss your guts and hope you are doing well.

Beatriz said...

Best post I've read in the last weeks... I just LOVED it Congrats!!!

Unknown said...

Hey,so I read the last 2 posts, and like them. How do I follow? Or are you interested in working on a collaborated project?