Myth Buster: People Are Basically Good

Do you believe people are basically good?  I must admit, I used to hold this belief.  You might be thinking … Marc, what a “glass as half empty” view of humanity.  Please hear me out.

First, let’s examine us in our natural state as small children.  We want to be feed.  We want to be cared for.  We want attention.  We are born with a selfish nature.  We are given freewill and our initial choices are all about me, me, me.  We have to be taught humility, patience, kindness, gentleness and faithfulness.  We have to learn self-control.

Second, human unfairness throughout the world, including in our own local communities, shatters the myth that we humans are all basically good.  Left to our own devices, we tend to …

  • Oppress,
  • Hoard,
  • Hurt,

… and generally think about ourselves much more than anyone else.  Just pick up a newspaper.  Unfairness is ubiquitous.

Fact:  You and I are treated unfairly all the time.

Fact:  You and I treat others unfairly more often than we’d like to admit.

In other words, we have a propensity to treat one another unfairly.  We are all victims and perpetrators of unfairness.  The reality is people are inhumane to each other.

How do we overcome this propensity in ourselves?  And how do we deal with the onslaught of unfairness in our lives?

First, learn to forgive others.  This simply means to let go of the unfairness, injustice or pain.  It does not mean to forget it.  It does not mean you have to trust the offender again.  It does mean you won’t let it consume you.

Second, forgive yourself.  You’ll never be perfect, even as you strive for perfection.  You’ll make mistakes.  You’ll hurt others.  You’ll treat others unfairly.  Commit to learning from those mistakes and not repeating them.  Minimize selfishness.  Maximize self-control.

Lastly, you have to maintain a front-sight focus on developing your character to be like Jesus.  You don’t have to be a Christian to do this.  Even if you don’t believe in him, you can still hold up his example as the standard to live by.  The Bible is filled with stories about how he treated people in different situations.  He is arguably the best role model of all time.

That’s what it means to live a Fordriven™ Life.  We are not born inherently good, but we can become good by transforming our minds, hearts and characters using the Fordriven framework:

  • Forgive others.  Let it go.  Don’t let the offense control you.  Rather, let it refine you.
  • Forgive yourself.  Learn from your mistakes.
  • Drive forward.  The past is in the rear view mirror.  It can not be altered.  The future is a blank canvas.  Study Jesus and set his character as the bar for your life’s masterpiece.

Written by Marc Casciani

Are you happy in your career? Are you doing work that matters? Take the free self-awareness assessment @ MindWolves.com/awareness

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