On Human Potential

Perhaps I’m naive. Maybe I look at the world through rose colored glasses. But I can’t shake the belief that each and every person has something positive and important to offer the world.

Some people look at our times and detect a cultural breakdown. They’re nostalgic the past and wish things could go back to being the way that they were. People nowadays are perverted and stupid. Kids are no longer safe. Politicians are more corrupt now than they’ve ever been. Things are in decline. We’re at a turning point in history. Nobody is any damn good

I’m sorry, but I just don’t see it that way.

Time and time again I am astounded by the generosity, intelligence, and personal goodness of human beings. A small conversation with a man in the grocery store yields an interesting little insight. Riding my bike through the streets, I spot a mother walking down the street smiling, her little girls bundled up in thick jackets. They beam with love. Volunteer work abounds. Most strive to improve their lot in life, and by doing so necessarily better the lives of others.

Sure, everybody has their weaknesses. Jealousy, vanity, cynicism, selfishness; these are unavoidable. People will unfailingly disappoint their loved ones from time to time. Crimes will be committed. The weak will be dominated by the strong. Injustice exists. These are all part of the human condition.

Bad is surprisingly paltry in comparison to good though. Think of all of the times that you go to work, go to the store, spend time with your family, run an errand, read a book, fly on a plane, sleep and wake up, and on and on without a hitch. There is goodness in abundance.

If the human condition is basically positive, there is no reason why most, if not all people, shouldn’t try to make the world an even better place than it already is.

Of course, each is free to do as they wish with their own time. However, I do find it a shame that many people with excellent qualities aren’t contributing as much as they could.

I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, so far be it for me to judge. But there are people, for example some retirees, with great knowledge and life experience who let their hard earned wisdom go to waste. Yes, taking cruises and watching reality T.V. are good for a spell of relaxation. But to make that your primary activity is surely as squandering of grace.

In any event, I encourage each and every person to figure out how they can make the world a better place. We all have something special to offer.

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2 Responses to On Human Potential

  1. galudwig says:

    Glad to see you’re blogging again!!

    I agree with almost everything in your article, but would put more stress on that caveat you put near the end of your text that says that each is free to do as they wish with their own time. It is a fact that many elderly people derive more psychic profit from watching reality TV and taking cruises.

    This is great! Reality TV-makers and cruise organizers cater to their wants and everyone involved is better off than they were before!

    However, judging from the youtube success of someone like this: http://www.youtube.com/user/DepressionCooking , it is beyond doubt that many have so much more to offer than they think or expect, so your point is very well taken 🙂

    • Thanks for the kind words. I felt like I ran out of stuff to say!

      Of course you are right, every person has an absolute right to do what they please. Reality TV-makers and cruise organizers cater to people’s wants and that is all to the good. In fact, I like cruises and reality TV myself, but in moderation.

      It stands to reason, then, that the only way to get people to act different, or realize their potential, is through reasoning with them and encouraging them. Force or state apparatus is never the proper way to change peoples actions.

      I’ve kept up reading your blog, you’re doing great!

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