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The Inherent Goodness Of People

People are inherently good.

If you asked me what has changed the way I interact with everyone I meet, it’s this belief. Think about what your first reaction is when you meet someone for the first time. Do you assume they’re good?

The sad reality is I don’t think we do. We treat new people as suspects, potential terrorists, or maybe as being dumber than ourselves. We think this way out of fear. I believe we think this way because we lack the belief that people are inherently good by nature.

What if we turned this idea on its head?

That’s what I want to challenge you to do in this blog post.

It’s that very basic idea that could change the world. We have to think big as I always say.

People want to do the right thing
When a bomb goes off in a public place and a terrorist plants it, that terrorist believes he’s doing the right thing. He might be serving a leader of a group, following his religion, or trying to fight for his country, but he is inherently trying to do the right thing.

While planting a bomb and killing innocent people is a very bad idea, he’s trying to do the right thing.

“Deep down, this terrorist has it within him to be good. We’re all good by our very nature”

Sometimes we go off track

We’re inherently good although sometimes the sad fact is that we go off track. We may have spent an entire decade serving people and going to our “safe job” and then one day wake up and commit a horrible act. That one horrible act shouldn’t outweigh everything we’ve done in the past.

“Because we are inherently good, we must use forgiveness as our default response”

When we see people as inherently good, and we understand that no one is perfect and that people mess up, we have perspective on the way they’ve acted. Have you ever done something that was dead wrong? Of course you have and I still believe you are good at your core. You should feel the same.

Seeing the good in others helps you flip your perspective 360 degrees
I’ve practiced seeing the good in others for the last five years. No matter what, I try and see people for their good side. It’s challenging to do at times, but it’s changed my perspective. When you see the good in others, you start to see the good in yourself.

You treat people differently. You start conversations from a positive place. You find yourself judging others less.

“Seeing the good creates more good in the world. What you see is what shows up in your life”

Being kind feels good

Seeing the goodness in people is a very kind thing to do. When we’re kind, research shows us that we feel good and are more positive. This goodness, combined with kindness, then creates a positive cycle.

We’ve all done something for a stranger that was inherently good. I know when I volunteer at the homeless shelter, the feeling I get is one of the best I’ve ever experienced. I sometimes wonder whether the reason we’re rewarded when we see the good in others is because that’s what keeps the universe going. Goodness is what stops us from nuking each other’s countries and wiping out the human race.

To keep evil from taking over, we must continue to see the goodness that exists all around us.

Take action and start seeing the GOOD

From this moment on, I want you to do a bit of an experiment. I want you to commit to always seeing the good in others. Even if you’re not sure, believe that someone is good before thinking any other thought.

This can be hard to do when I’m sure, like me, you’ve had people do the wrong thing by you. You’ve had people steal, lie and cheat you, over and over again. The thing is, this is not the norm. Out of the thousands of experiences you have in life, people doing the wrong thing by you and being so-called “evil” is not common.

Don’t let a few bad experiences stop you from believing that people are inherently good. We’re biologically wired to love one another and to unite when tragedy strikes.

Whether you believe people are inherently good or not, will determine how life treats you.

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