Inherent Goodness

Do you believe some people are good and some people are evil? Do you think we’re born neutral and get to choose our path? Do you think we’re born good and then mess it up? Were you raised Catholic, born with original sin that you’re still recovering from?

Why does it matter? I still need to keep thinking about all these questions.

Nevertheless I’m going to go out on a limb today and encourage everyone to contemplate our future. To think about these very questions and how they impact your thoughts and actions. Our world is at a crossroads. Our country is at a crossroads in this election year.  I think it’s prime time to start some contemplation. If we make choices just based on our own “selfish” needs without thinking about the consequences for the rest of the people and animals and plants in the world then probably nothing can be sustained. (I should probably put some examples in here to illustrate my point) (Will this be more engaging if I ask you to come up with some examples of your own?) (Feel free to share!)

On the other hand, if we see that we are all interconnected and that what we do affects things we can’t even dream about, then maybe we’ll make some different choices. (Again with the examples!) Is that our inherent goodness coming out?

But what if we make selfish choices? Does that mean we inherently bad? Misguided? Not contemplative?

Going back to yesterday’s post, what if we take up the Sakyong‘s challenge and  see ourselves as inherently good. And further what if we start looking at others as inherently good as well? Can that make a difference?


One thought on “Inherent Goodness

  1. Having contemplated this subject for decades, my conclusion, and current belief, is that everyone is born with a conscience, and thus with an innate ability to tell, instinctively, right from wrong, good from evil. Whether by experiential choice, parental training or brain chemical imbalance (including being born to a drug-addicted mother), some of us choose to ignore, or turn off, that conscience. Whether that makes them matter-of-fact ‘evil’ (which I do think exists) or just sociopathically unconcerned with anyone’s rights or needs but their own, it doesn’t matter that much to the larger society; what should determine what to ‘do’ about those types is what matters. I’m also not sure ‘we’ can help them; it makes the most sense to me to make sure society (or ‘civilization’) is kept safe from those folks when we encounter them, hopefully before too much damage is done, or too many lives are lost.
    Hope this opinion of the ‘Hangin Judge’ hasn’t darkened things too much…

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