Maybe I’m a hopeless optimist, because I’m definitely a hopeless romantic, but I prefer to think of people as mostly good: trying to be good friends, trying to be good spouses, trying to be good co-workers, trying to be good neighbors, trying to be good parents. Sometimes the effect isn’t what was intended, but most people are trying to be good…and, trying to find happiness.
But, it’s hard, right? It’s hard to know what the right thing to do is, the right thing to say. And, even if you know what the right approach is, good luck trying to control your emotions enough in the heat of a moment when you’re more inclined to “react” vs. “respond”.
I intentionally avoid the media because it gives me a false sense of how hostile the world is that we live in. I truly believe that the bad things we see out there in the world (theft, fighting, neglect, etc.) are just exceptions, aberrations.
Because when I think of that being the nature of human beings, I interact with the world around me very differently than when I assume I am living in a hostile world. Otherwise, I enter out into the world every day thinking I need to protect myself from potential dangers or people that are trying to take advantage of me.
When I think of myself as just another human being trying to share this world and this life with other human beings just like me, it helps me live with more patience, compassion, and love towards the people that cross my path every day.
I assume that people that cut me off in traffic are rushing to the hospital to be with their sick child. People that are complaining or short with me are dealing with an alcoholic parent or spouse. Or, people that physically hurt others spent their entire childhood as victims of abuse.
Human beings, in their nature, are good. We all want the same thing. We are all in this together.