General good will links us securely. Are we predisposed these days, somehow, to assume the worst? Is pessimism cool? Any assumption was anathema for Hume and unwarranted opinions were always his primary philosophical targets. So he asks us again: Where in your experience have you found support for your beliefs about human nature? What does your experience of the world teach you? Not the news, twittered or blogged; not movies, magazines, or music - - - what about your own, everyday, very personal experience of humanity? Really looking forward to writing this article, I turned to my own experience, here and now, day in and day out for the past few weeks.
Here's a small sample from my survey of human nature: Members of a biking group spend their weekends painting and restoring the home for a couple selling their house, a bittersweet and loving farewell.
A server in a busy restaurant waits with absolute patience and respect for an elderly diner to form the words for his order, never losing eye contact with his smiling customer. A hair cutter offers to come to the shop on a Sunday for a client who can't make it, due to health issues, any other day. Unasked, a good cook fixes soup from scratch, customized for her pal's mother, simply saying "Come and get it, it's on the porch. A retired police officer, facing foreclosure and cancer treatments, asks a former colleague for information on rental houses, soon to find his mortgage paid for the foreseeable future by his coworkers as well as by "strangers.
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Sitting in a physician's waiting room, the man across from me, who had also brought a patient for an examination, nodded at my feet and said, "Like your crocs. I replied.
The anxious wait was softened by a fellow croc-wearer. Over this brief period of canvassing for good will, I used the services of four independent, very small one or two workers businesses.
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In each case, I experienced excellent work and their pride in the outcome, fine jobs completed with easy kindness for better than a fair price. Have you noticed?
In all about love , bell hooks joins St. Paul: "Enjoying the benefits of living and loving in community empowers us to meet strangers without fear and extend to them the gift of openness and recognition. Just by speaking to a stranger, acknowledging their presence on the planet, we make a connection We can begin the process of making community wherever we are.
We can begin by sharing a smile, a warm greeting, a bit of conversation What do you think? Is Hume on to something? If you disagree with him, make sure it's based on experience and that you have numbers to back you up. Or, did you already know that human goodness triumphs over the reverse?
Human goodness and the feelgood factor - Dumbo Feather
Had you forgotten? Today, will you meet any angels unawares? I've noticed something similar in the last few months. I've been disturbed by how well that bad news is reported. So, I often search the Internet or read the occasional local newspaper to get a break away from this perpetual Chicken Little charade.
But I don't even have to go that far. I do often meet people each and every day that fits within this description. After all, Neil Postman, a media critic, once said that television, the internet, and other media sources make children growing up and, I would say, many adults too think that the world is a far more hostile, unforgiving place than it really is.
Though there is one issue to contend with. The "bestial lot" that Hume described has no definite size in all cultures, places, and times so it can make that minority group all the more harder to ignore and see the sympathetic others all around us. I also see enough "bestial" people in a given week to make me wonder just how many people belong in either description. But if a personal sampling can give us any indication at all, it is clear that "bestial" people make themselves known for a reason - because they would be easily ignored or rebuked otherwise.
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The "bestial lot" does indeed garner the headlines. No one ever gets in front of the TV camera to report that this evening, millions of families sat down to dinner together and enjoyed each other's company. I wonder how much of our perception of people's goodness comes from our own outlook at that particular moment.
Human goodness and the feelgood factor
I know when I leave my house in a cranky mood, I'm more likely to come home fed up with my fellow two-legged hominids. When I go out in a more optimistic frame of mind, it's likely my feeling at the end of the day will be one of happiness and appreciation for other folks. Human Goodness is evidence of this talent and is both as simple, and as epic, as it sounds. Genuinely good people and their actions, Tuan contends, are far from boring, naive, and trite; they are complex, varied, and enormously exciting. In a refreshing antidote to skeptical times, he writes of ordinary human courtesies, as simple as busing your dishes after eating, that make society functional and livable.
And he writes of extraordinary courage and inventiveness under the weight of adversity and evil. He considers the impact of communal goodness over time, and his sketches of six very different individuals—Confucius, Socrates, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, John Keats, Dr.
Albert Schweitzer, and Simone Weil—confirm that there are human lives that can encourage and lead us to our better selves. Table of Contents. Cover Download Save. Frontmatter Download Save.
- Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, K339!
- The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness.
- Human Goodness.
Contents p. Preface pp. Vignettes: Range and Variety of Goodness pp. Doing Good in the Midst of Evil pp. Reflections pp.