Human beings: naturally good or bad?
Sometimes, when we look at what is happening in the world, or we just look around us, we may ask ourselves: are human beings naturally good or bad? Are some good and some bad?
If I may, and because I travel to the heart of human beings in my work, I’d like to share with you my observations and experience about this important question.
Today I was listening to a radio program when the person interviewed said that we are all, originally, infused by goodness. I SO MUCH AGREE with that!
In my job, I hear various stories and help many different clients to reach the heart of what they want for their lives and I can say:
Whatever our culture, our age, our education, our gender…
WE ALL WANT the SAME THING: TO BE LOVED
ALL OF US, WITH NO EXCEPTION, ARE ONLY HAPPY WHEN WE LOVE.
So what happens? How is it that we see so much violence, pain, mean behaviours etc. in the world?
First, I’d like to say that in my view, there is a lack of balance in the media focus. We are showed negative realities much more than positive ones. I feel a big part of reality is forgotten because there is not enough stories in the news about the wonderful people who are amongst us.
It is a shame because love calls upon love and if we were mainly shown positive stories, we would all feel more positive, less frustrated, less worried, less fearful. And these feelings are the ones that feed violence.
Secondly, the positive in us as children can be, and often is, prevented by what I call “accidents of life”.
These are times when as a child, people around us didn’t see the positive in us, didn’t see our unique identity and aspirations, our normal needs. Some accidents can be very big, others little but repetitive and they leave deep wounds in us, most of the time long forgotten by the adults we are.
As a result of these “accidents of life”, we don’t feel loved, deep down we fear loneliness, we feel empty and we search for a way to compensate.
We try very hard to compensate for what we didn’t get and this trying very hard will not bear anything in its way because it has become, year after year, more desperate, even though we are often completely unaware of it. This is when we are ready to do some bad so as to reach our important need to fill the empty space inside ourselves.
Sure, when we are at the receiving end of the malicious behaviour, it is painful. But, it is good to know this person is just the puppet of their past. The next step for us is to protect ourselves from these malicious behaviours (like by seeing less the person) because we can’t do anything about them. We cannot change people. Only people can decide to change themselves.
But by giving love to ourselves, we can create a positive environment inside ourselves. Because when we love ourselves truly –without self-judgement- and when we care truly for ourselves– with gentleness not with shopping- we feel safe and protected.
To love ourselves unconditionally always creates as well a positive ripple effect around us.
As I said, we all want the same thing: to be loved. Starting with ourselves is the most efficient thing we can do in our life.
I also said above that human beings are only happy when they live unconditional love for the others around them.
When we don’t love and we are in hatred, we feel eaten from the inside. Hatred hurts us. It can make us feel bitter, guilty or simply hurt. In any case, it is not a nice feeling.
In another case, when we don’t love and we are indifferent, we don’t feel fulfilled. We feel empty.
Because human beings are made to love. I witness it again and again and again.
And we need to be careful here. It is not about a naïve, dadida love. It is about UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. A love that is imbued with freedom and respect: for myself and for the other. It is about acceptance, not pink hearts. It is a human being to human being relationship infused by universal values such as fairness, honesty, justice, respect, freedom, truth etc…
To conclude, I’d like to say that the first and foremost thing we can do is to start loving ourselves. This means:
Stopping being judgemental about ourselves
Being forgiving with ourselves
Honouring ourselves by living up to our values
Caring for ourselves
Being gentle with ourselves
Having realistic expectations from ourselves
We all feel unfulfilled at times, it is the nature of human beings, but by taking conscious steps towards loving ourselves, we will not feel empty anymore and this will take us a long way. It will create a non-judgemental and life-giving environment inside and outside of us.