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Lies Travelers Tell #1
How many times have you heard a traveller say “People the world over are generally good, they just want to live peaceful and happy lives just like you and I” and most of us whether we have travelled or not, agree. It’s a nice thought but it’s not complete, while travelling has certainly shown me [...]
Monday December 13 2010
How many times have you heard a traveller say “People the world over are generally good, they just want to live peaceful and happy lives just like you and I” and most of us whether we have travelled or not, agree. It’s a nice thought but it’s not complete, while travelling has certainly shown me this is the basic desire of most human beings reality and idealism are very different. It would be easy to blame all the bad stuff on those few who aren’t “most” of us but generally good people are more than capable of treading on their fellow man and we do so more often than we would like to believe.
This quote is from Gary Arndt, you might know his little site EverythingEverywhere.
Many people are afraid of the world beyond their door, yet the vast majority of humans are not thieves, murderers or rapists. They are people just like you and me who are trying to get by, to help their families and go about living their lives. There is no race, religion or nationality that is exempt from this rule. How they go about living their lives might be different, but their general goals are the same.
While I agree with what he says I disagree with the conclusion.
The statement “People are generally good” is simplistic and either naive or ignorant (I haven’t decided). Generalisations are about as useful as assumptions, and we all know what they say about them. Take off the rose colored glasses.
The reason? I’ve seen countless “generally good” people tread down on their fellow man in pursuit of those supposedly noble deeds of “just getting by” and “helping their families”, maybe I’ve even done it myself. I’m not suggesting those are bad things to pursue just that the conclusion that they are therefore good people makes a black and white situation out of what any traveller should know, that it is an extremely colourful world. You don’t need to travel the world to learn this, we all know someone at home who plays office politics, we all know the saying “Shit rolls downhill”. It really doesn’t matter if you are the victim or the perpetrator, you’ve probably been both. Getting ahead, for yourself or your family often means holding others down, no matter how small or unintended your actions are.
One thing I’ve learned from travelling is this…
People are not at the heart of it, good or bad, it is the good and bad they do that defines them.