I’d like to preface by stating that this post may seem like a lot of jumbled thoughts- and that’s because it is, but bear with me because this is a touchy topic and I’d love to know others’ opinions on the matter. Thank you.
To this day, psychologists often argue the question of whether humans are good or evil by nature. Being an optimistic person, I tend to believe that humans- most, not all- are good, but it seems that the vast majority of people I surround myself with would disagree. My father believes that it’s in one’s best interest to trust nobody, lest they get taken advantage of, and a woman I know has made comments to me about arriving in various countries that usually go a little something like, “Don’t you get scared getting off the plane in the airport there? You never know who’s watching you.” When people say things like that, I can’t help but feeling a little annoyed. Why do we, as Americans, caucasians, what have you, feel we have the right to assume everyone who is not us is innately bad?
When I visited China, I encountered some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. In walking the city streets, women would approach me or the other members of my group, requesting that we hold their baby for a picture. Why? I don’t know. I didn’t understand it at the time, and I still don’t- but that’s not the point. The point is they trusted us. We could have run off with their child, dropped him on the ground, made her cry, anything, but they trusted us not to, even though we were “different” from them. So then, I ask, why don’t we trust them? Not just the Chinese, I mean, but “the others,” regardless of who they may be.
I think humans are born good people with the desire to do the right thing, and while some get corrupted, the majority hold similar values throughout their life. Yes, I understand that getting off the airplane in some places, let’s say Sudan, may cause people fear, but that’s because of what is going on in the country, not because everyone in Sudan is evil, and I think that is something that not enough people recognize. Without traveling though, I’m not entirely sure how to convince these people to change their minds.
So many people in the world see bad things happen and think, “It won’t happen to me,” and I suppose I do too. But isn’t that a better attitude to have, so long as one is still cautious? Deciding to distrust humanity as a whole will do absolutely nothing to better one’s life. It makes one fear the unknown and restrict themselves to places of comfortability, leaving them no opportunity to see the world’s beauty, and to me, that’s very sad.