Are people inherently good, or inherently evil?
Good ol’ Willy Shakes might not have had dear Prince Hamlet ponder this particular thought, but that actually IS the question I’ve asked myself the most recently. Not whether or not we should suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortunes or take arms against a sea of opposing troubles and all that.
You get my gist.
I could honestly sit here for hours and list debilitating and immoral things that have happened since January 1st this year, but I won’t. It would take too long, but the more crucial point is that it would be cruel to remind those affected by these debilitating and immoral acts. Those affected could be one individual, one family, one town, one city, one state, one nation.
And I can’t do more harm to them. I can’t remind them of those things, those acts.
But every time I get a news notification, my heart sinks a little deeper into my chest. Someone’s dead, one reads. Some city was attacked, another beeps. Something is changing that will do more harm than good.
And I feel hopeless. I feel stuck. I feel as though the world’s not moving forward, but regressing. To me, we’re turning into a world where more people want to build walls and keep people out rather than tear them down and let people in, and that feels like the opposite of what the Universe wants.
So then, to me, people are inherently evil, right?
But then I remember that there were thousands of people, race, gender, and sexuality alike who marched in Washington, D.C., for something they believed in. I remember that NASA has just found 7 (yes, you read that right!) new LIVABLE planets. I remember that Viola Davis just won her first (and so deserved) Oscar, and gave a passionate speech on what it means to be an artist. I remember that, with each passing day, scientists are getting closer to cures for evil illnesses.
Wait—are people good? Are we constantly searching for the better? Does that mean we’re good?
But I believe, firmly, staunchly, unwaveringly, that if we have hope, hold desperately onto that hope, act on that hope, we can make a change.
I myself don’t have the words to sum this up, so I’m going to quote something that has given me some of the best words when I’m feeling absolutely terrified with what the world has done. Thanks, Doctor Who.
“Every life is a pile of good things and bad things… The good things don't always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant.”
And I figure, so long as we remember our hope, we will survive.
We will live.