In the light of the primary school massacre in Connecticut, many people might be inclined to agree with the opposite: that we must all be inherenlty bad. But I would disagree.
I believe people are inherently good because they are programmed to react to love, the greatest influential force in their lives. They seek love, desire it, need it and lavish it on others because love connects them to others. When it is missing from their lives the effects can be catastrophic. Babies know no evil. It is the way they are brought up, the way they are valued, the way they are treated and the respect they get which turn those young toddlers from feel-good worthy children to angry, resentful deviants.
People simply react to how they are treated. The way they are valued dictates how they perceive themselves and their world and then they react accordingly. If it is a negative perception, then there will be the behavior to match. Even the hardest hearted person will melt with kindness and love than with anything else. If they are greeted with criticism or rejection instead, they begin to question their worth, they lose stake in their environment and community and become unfeeling monsters, in some cases, wanting only to hurt and destroy - like Adam Lanza, for example. There is always a connection between a person's experience, especially in childhood, and how he/she comes to see the world they are in. They will either welcome their life and opportunities and make the most of them, or go off the rails to be vengeful or to get attention.
One of the most subtle things which change the nature of people are expectations. Many good people change over time trying to conform to expectations while others who were likely to be deviant have actually improved their lives because of the faith and trust placed in them, and high expectations of them. So people are inherently good. If we expect them to behave in a positive manner, we are likely to get that reaction. If we assume the worst of them, they are likely to fulfil that expectation too. So long as they feel loved, appreciated, valued and included, we are likely to get the best from others.
But what do you think?
©Elaine Sihera (Ms CYPRAH) 2012
Emotional Health and People Management Consultant
"Happiness is a state of being. We are the ones who decide whether we wish to be happy or not, by the script we use inside our heads."