People – inherently good or bad?

I have been doing some soulsearching lately. Been thinking about people on the universal level, and the ones I know, as well, naturally. I have been wondering if they can be trusted or not and how could I discern who is trustworthy and who is not. Let me share my thoughts with you.

There are different views about the subject, as far as I can see. There are those who think that in everyone of us there is deep down something good (maybe someone has it deeper inside of them than others), and those who think that there is something bad in all of us (a kind of a original sin as in the Bible). I, myself, feel that this subject can’t be that simple. I believe that both of these are true. I believe there is something good in me and similarly something bad as well. It’s the balance between them that counts, really.

If we all are good by nature, why there is so much cruelty, suffering and anguish in this world? Why are we so unconcerned and indifferent about the others? Why aren’t we all doing the good things we are able to? Or is it only that we haven’t developed ourselves as human beings as far as we should have? That we should learn it here and now?

And if we all are bad deep inside (as it might seem when looking out of the window or reading the news), why haven’t we just killed ourselves into extinction? Why there are some people who are trying to help, giving everything they have to help others, willing to work very hard to accomplish something better? Why do they care? Have they just restrained their real nature and are they just keeping the fight against themselves?

Well, as I said already, I really don’t think that any of these options could be true by themselves. I believe that both of these are true, in everyone of us. It is not that easy to keep being nice and loving and caring, there has been times that I have been really mean to others, just to compensate my own hurt, taking pleasure from the revenge. But similarly, there has been times that I have just turned the other cheek and forgiven everything.

One of my studying material about the subject in addition to my own experiences and my own life has been, haha, well, you might guess actually: The Vampire Diaries. I have written something about it before, so only some short thoughts. The Salvatore brothers aren’t merely good or bad, and that is what makes them so interesting. There can be seen hints of good in Damon’s actions, or at least he is doing things he believes are right (for him). (Another thought: I think it was David Eddings who made me think about the bad guys in a different light when he wrote about some bad guy – sorry, I really can’t remember more specifically – and his childhood and stuff. He made me write about my villain as well, from the another perspective, and it has been really intriguing and enlightening!)

And in the same way there is something very bad in Stefan, too, though he has been doing his best to hide it and keep it calm in him. In a way these stories about vampires could be stories about ourselves, they could be allegories about human life, about the things that could be difficult to handle otherwise. Maybe the hidden truth in them is the thing that makes them so popular?

Ok, so I have come into a conclusion that there is good and bad in everyone of us. But the other question still remains. How to tell apart who can be trusted and who can’t? When should I believe what the other is telling me (for example when saying ‘I’ll call you later’ or ‘Yeah, sure, we should have a conversation sometime’ or ‘Of course I want to be in touch’ or anything alike) and when it is put into a category of ‘small talk’ or ‘just being nice’? Is it really nice to say things you don’t mean at all?

I don’t have any answer for this one. It is really annoying and frustrating when people act like that! It is frustrating even if you know very well in the situation that the person is never going to do as (s)he says anyways, but it doesn’t hurt that much as when you really believe in someone. Maybe some of us are just that good actors?

What do you think?

Postscript

The funny thing about all this was that when I opened my blog to start writing about the subject I have, there was this Cristian Mihai’s blog text starting with almost the same words I was planning to use. He is a talented writer whose texts I have enjoyed a lot. He’s talking about bit the same and something more as well: taking risks in your life about the thing you love the most. Takealook.

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