Thoughts on how people are basically good natured

I have always felt that people, when they are in a normal frame of mind, are basically good.  There is a basic goodness in people I’ve found.  When people do ‘bad’ things it seems more a result of a ‘something’ that caused it than a trait that is within them.  In other words, ‘bad’ things seem to be something that has been added over their basic goodness.

I have always been sceptical of this idea of ‘evil’ people.  People can do ‘evil’ things but they are not really ‘evil’, it seems to me.  The ‘evil’ only manifests in an aspect of their self.   When it is very dominating then it, of course, can make them appear ‘evil’.

Some examples of the good nature in people include:

–          People generally do not intend to hurt you or mistreat you.  

–          People generally are motivated out of good intentions that appear so in their mind. 

–          People are generally helpful.

–          People are generally caring.

Everywhere I go I see examples of this.  Seldom do I see ‘bad’ or ‘evil’ things.  They are the exception rather than the rule.  All this seems to suggest that people are good intentioned at heart.  It seems to be the normal condition and state. 

But, through time and the experience of life, situations and reactions are created that begin to cover, and sometimes hide, this good natured self.  It’s as if this good natured intention becomes tarnished by other factors.  It seems that there are a number of things that cause this tarnishing which include:

–          A change in frame of mind.  Often, a change in a person’s frame of mind brings out things in them that normally isn’t there.  Because of this, a person can be kind one second and cruel the next. 

–          Many forms of ‘bad’ behaviour in people seem to be a result of the different levels of the mind.  It’s like a dark side of them comes out in them, affecting some of their behaviour.  If a person does not have a strong sense of self things coming from other levels of the mind can easily dominate them and control them.  They also may not be able to get it under control.

–          There are the naturally appearing bad aspects in all of us that come out and influence our life.  I do not believe these dominate us for long periods of time though but are sporadic, lasting only for short periods of time.  Some people may display this quality very strongly though. 

–          Different points of view.  Often, what is ‘bad’ to one person is not ‘bad’ to another.  In many ways, this is a miscommunication leading to misinterpretation.  This happens a lot in life. 

–          The conditions a person lives in can determine a persons ‘bad’ behaviour.  Desperate conditions make people desperate and do things they normally wouldn’t do, for example.  Stress, peer pressure, poverty, war, etc. can all force people to do things. 

–          Various mental disturbances can cause people to do ‘bad’ and ‘evil’ things. 

It seems that a good way to find the good in people is to find the good in you.  A good place to start is to try to discover these ‘tarnishings’ within you and remove them and allow your natural good nature to come out. 

This isn’t as easy as it sounds though.  There is often great reluctance to remove this tarnishing.  It seems to me that we hide our good nature to protect it.  This suggests that the ‘tarnishing’ (the ‘bad’ and ‘evil’ things we do) is actually a way we protect ourself from a perceived threat.  If this is true then it shows that a big part of the ‘bad’ and ‘evil’ in people is nothing but a means for a person to protect themselves.  When this is done its as if the ‘bad’ and ‘evil’ is an armor protecting that good natured inner self.  I think there is truth in this.  Again, it shows that the good natured self is constant and the normal state.  

By seeing how we do our own ‘tarnishing’ and how it covers our good nature we can see the same thing in other people.

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