Don’t be surprised that I feel this way, but I am very much torn between thinking people are pathetic vats of immoral conformity and ignorance, or of harboring latent natural propensities to be virtuous. I honestly cannot tell you which one it is. If you look at people realistically, you’ll see the former; if you look people (e)/(sy)mpathetically, as I more often do, you might see the latter. I’m starting to wonder if I’m naive.
I think it’s got to be that most people harbor a latent propensity to be good, much like language is an inborn potential and not a completely arbitrary phenomenon for people…you are born READY to learn language. So too does it seem for morality, only today, there’s nothing to develop this sense of morality that aligns people to their true nature.
I don’t believe that there is a balance of good vs evil with respect to humanity. I think the nature of each human is to be healthy, vibrant, happy, virtuous, etc. So let’s bring in a food analogy: we look at food today as if some are “healthy” – they have lots of health benefits – this is all a matter of PERSPECTIVE. To me, these foods are what should be the norm, not “healthy” and that eating/being healthy is the proper nature and function of the human being. Yet today, we see eating healthy food as going beyond the norm, and just like the norm today creates physically sick people, this culture creates the psychologically, philosophically, and spiritually sick. In reflection of all that I study, seldom does the world we live in align in an inspiring sense with what is the nature of each human.
So as I look at the world today, I realize people are a product of their environment – this environment is inherently corrupt in many capacities vis-a-vis ones true nature – and such I keep coming back to something I felt when I was a teenager. As I watched the people around me slip into lifestyles and buy into thought patterns not conducive to real fulfillment, I remember now how I nevertheless liked every individual I knew, but hated them in groups. That was my joke…I hate everyone, but love them all the same. I love all the people who have done the things I’ve hated most and even those who have “hurt” me most (I don’t want to ascribe too much responsibility for my feelings to others)… When I think of the individuals, say, I went to high school with, I sincerely remember liking every single person I knew on an individual level….I cannot even remember one instance where I did not like a person… it’s as if I look to the world knowing something is wrong, but not being able to find anyone I dislike…..
Yet, of course, on a social level there would be many people I wouldn’t be “compatible” with (even though, if need be, I can blend into virtually any social situation) – herein lies the malady of our times, and I’ve talked about this before – that there are walls people put up between themselves and their social selves.. their social selves being manifestations of something inherently not them, but over time comes to define them. But at what point are people accountable for their susceptibility to conform? What gives some the strength to not merely be less than their potential? Is it a choice or an inborn advantage that one will seek something “more” or “real”? For those of us who have the choice to be “more” than our circumstances, is it our responsibility to “shape” the circumstances of others? Are all people even capable of being “more” than their circumstances, or should we just let people be their circumstances and besides change the people change their circumstances? Should I look sympathetically to people? And what is the best way to reach people who are their circumstances? This last question I ponder a lot because I know that sometimes I definitely come off as a lot more mean or arrogant than I would EVER be if you were to talk to me one on one. In the case of talking to me one on one I would never find it suitable to deride one’s character, it’s only when I take a step back and notice a larger pattern that I get frustrated and can talk detached from my subject and say, many times, caustic things.
I think that most people are by no means virtuous/good people, nor are they immoral or evil. I think most people are neutral conformist to the ethics of their environment, and pragmatic in fulfilling the very real social needs humans have by just buying into whatever norms necessary. This leads me to believe that most people are not good people…yet in lieu of being optimistic I shall grant that most people may be “good”, yet one of several thousands are virtuous…..HOWEVER….most if not all of humanity yearns to fulfill their nature and be truly good, but do not have the strength to be more than their depraved environments.