People Are Generally Good

It’s easy to forget that. As some know, eBay made “Peple Are Generally Good” as a mantra for the company; it’s the trust that holds the Company’s services together.

Now we live in a world rife with corruption. Be it congresspeople or CEOs, wrongdoers are all over the headlines. Services like Rapleaf have to pop up to try to curb the ethical fallacies of the commerce world.

But we can’t let the wrongdoers dominate the news too much. After all, most people are generally good. I realized this on the train the other day, reflecting on the generosity of my first hosts in Ireland — Frank and Mary Lynch. Frank reached out to me as a total stranger (as a blog reader) and offered his home and local expertise to me. It was an act of enormous kindness and there are others on this trip who will do the same.

It doesn’t stop there. The general good will in people in the world to help travelers or guests has surprised me. In a very good way. When I first started planning my trip some people said, “Ben, the world won’t be very kind to a young American traveling around. Many people don’t like Americans given the current political environment.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. People are accepting me and others with open arms, offering assistance, helping locate things on a map, and helping explain the fare rules on a metro service.

People are generally good. Thinking about this renews my love for and belief in life and people. I believe in the goodness of this moment and in the potential of tomorrow. I believe people are out to help you, not to get you.

And this has made all the difference.

3 comments on “People Are Generally Good
  • So does this mean you are going to stop stressing out about your passport as if it was the nuclear launch codes?

  • I agree with your world view. I used to have a pretty cynical approach to life. Then I came to Japan. People have opened their hearts and homes in a way I never thought possible. Within my first week here, co-workers invited me to their houses, introduced me to their families and helped me figure things out. I stopped by a convenience store to ask for directions to my workplace on my first day of work. After realizing that I couldn’t understand what he was saying, the clerk drove me there. One woman invites many of the English teachers in the area to her house for dinner once a week, and afterwards takes us to Taiko practice with her and teaches us how to play. A Japanese friend of mine helped me buy a car. When I was having problems with it, her father drove an hour to my house to tow it and gave me another car to drive while he repaired mine. I have so many other examples, but needless to say, I definitely believe in the basic goodness of people.

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