Are People Inherently Good Or Bad

Photo by renjith krishnan FreeDigitalPhotos
Photo by renjith krishnan FreeDigitalPhotos

People are inherently good. I truly believe this, despite several circumstances and events in world history and current ongoings that do not support this belief. While many people are evil, I maintain that their is an innate selflessness and goodness in all of us.

I’ve seen evidence of this almost every day of my life, from the beauty I find in the whole-hearted laughs that friends share, hugs that are so genuine you can see the kindness, or even something as simple as people holding the door open for another person. In this chaotic and unpredictable life, others are all we have. So to even consider the thought that humans are NOT inherently good is terrifying.

One of the first experiences that made me realize people are absolutely wonderful was in the third grade.

Picture this: dozens of eight year olds running around a sweaty and dusty gym during gym class. The teacher tried desperately and without success to control us for the first half of the period. When we’d finally burned enough of the pent up energy that came with the territory of being 8 and carefree, she finally regained control, and we decided on a game. The activity of this particular day? A relay race.

I was in a group with 3 people: girl who I didn’t talk to, a boy I didn’t like, and a boy I was hopelessly and madly in love with: Mark. In the true spirit of simple and innocent schoolyard love, we would constantly talk on the phone, pass notes in class and sit by each other in class. Even though he just saw me as a friend, I couldn’t help crushing on him.

We were instructed to sit cross legged in a line on one side of the gym. In the front was the unfavourable boy, behind him, Mark, then me and the girl.

This girl is the type you see everywhere but never notice; shy, keeps to herself, likes cats. The boys turned around to talk to us, and I made direct eye contact with Mark. Maybe I got too excited, because at that exact moment, I let out a loud and obvious fart.

The boy I didn’t like immediately cried “EWW did you do that?” I searched for an excuse as Mark turned away… which is when my hero came swooping in.

“No, that was me,” said the forgettable girl, adding a giggle.

“Oh,” The rude boy said, while Mark flashed me a gap-toothed grin that all but melted my heart into a puddle on that gym floor.

So that’s why, whenever discussing the great philosophical and psychological question of whether or not people are inherently good, I always say yes.

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