People are basically good.
I’ve experienced it in my middle-class American life, in a small Chinese village, and on the street in Beirut. People are generous, caring, and thoughtful. They are fair-minded and concerned for others. People are basically good.
I make this claim based on personal experience and a lifetime of observation. I make this claim based on a faith that says we all have equal and immense intrinsic worth given by God.
I also make this claim knowing that it’s imperfectly lived and not universally experienced. I recognize the world is a much easier place for a straightwhitemiddleclassAmericanmale.
I make this claim despite seeing real evil happening in our world, and the harmful and hurtful effects of fear, ignorance, greed and jealousy in our behaviors.
Still I make this claim: people are basically good.
In this blog I’ll express my claim, because it’s necessary as an antidote to the fear that seems so pervasive in our time. I’ll also struggle with the imperfections, places where my claim seems naïve or even absurd. The path forward from those places involves not ignoring them, but facing them directly and unflinchingly.
During my career I’ve worked as a carpenter, a Human Resources Director, and a Plant Manager. I’ve taught English to university students in China. I’ve worked for myself as a landlord, author, and leadership consultant.
In other words, sometimes I get bored and need a new challenge.
I’ve been married more than a quarter century to Heidi, and we’re both still happy about it. She’s a math educator and it drives her crazy when people say, “I’m not good at math.” Consider yourself warned. Our daughter and son live in that transition time that is college and just beyond, and it’s a privilege to watch them navigate their lives.
Heidi and I love to travel. We’ve lived in China twice and at least tapped the edge of every continent but Antarctica. There are so many more places we’d like to go. I find I learn so much from those journeys outside my comfort zone.
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