I have been thinking quite a bit lately about the way people treat each other, and the way I want to treat other people. Most of me, or the spiritual part of me, believes in a generous approach to people. I believe in idea that there is some measure of good in everyone, and as Randy Pausch said, if you are patient, you will find it. I believe in maintaining an openly, expectant happiness to discover the humanness of each person I meet, like the Dalai Lama. Even aspire to love my neighbor, as Jesus taught.
I know that the world is so full of kindness, altruism, sacrifice for others, heroics. There is such power in what we can do for others and the world!
On the other hand...oh, there are so many other hands. People can be real jerks, and worse. In my line of work, I see people selfishly hurting others regularly, people hurting children, too. I see smirks of pleasure and gloating at another's pain, meanness, dishonesty. I just want to "call 'em like I see 'em" and dismiss that human being, that life. No patience; no understanding; no acceptance. I want to assign consequence for the darkness that humans can spread on to others.
Just on Monday, I dealt with one person taking a child from the other parent through the use of mistatements to authorities - and watch the vicious giggles at the anguish he caused. The same day I dealth with a sexual assault on an eight year old daughter. More the same day a person maliciously withholding money owed to another, while they fall more and more ill with stress and poverty. All that pain purposefully, even gleefully inflicted from "human" to human. My resolve to look for the good crumbles.
I should know that life, lives, being human after all, is just not that black and white. Yet, I still struggle at reconciling the two perspectives. I don't know why. What are your thoughts?
And why the picture above? It doesn't really have anything to do with this topic, except way down inside me. The meaning of life in some way always comes down to one's children and grandchildren. Here is my granddaughter, joyously and unselfconsciously skipping through the maze of her life towards her future.