I used to believe – or at least thought I believed, or wanted to believe – in the inherent goodness of people. I don’t anymore. I haven’t for a long time. I’m not saying I’ve figured it out beyond that – people are fucking complicated, yo. Years and years of working jobs that involve lots of interaction with different groups of people have solidified my belief that people in general are way dumber than we’d like to believe, and sometimes way meaner. Yes, I’m a bit of a misanthrope, and yes, I can be elitist and judgy. I own it.
Days like today solidify my belief that there are people out there that are just truly bad. I don’t usually use words like “evil” just because there’s an almost religious connotation there that I’m not sure gets my intention – I can certainly understand why people use words like that today, but to me the word “evil” almost implies something beyond human. I don’t know that I believe that there’s anything even vaguely supernatural about it – some people are just not good people and some people take it way, way further than just a lack of goodness. But I think it’s all human – humans can be seriously, seriously fucked up all on our own. We don’t need any supernatural help to accomplish that.
My thoughts on good and bad and the balance of light and dark in the world are a bit of a swirling mess and I don’t claim to have any set philosophy, at least not one that makes sense when I’m sober. But I will say this – even though I very much believe that there are all manner of bad people out there, I refuse to let that deter me from seeing how many good people there are, too. You don’t have to try to sugarcoat humanity to recognize what bravery and heroism and beauty there is out there. There are people who blow up kids and then there are people who risk their lives to save them. I won’t lose my faith in the latter just because I believe the former are always going to be with us, too.
And I won’t give up and be apathetic because “people suck and there’s nothing we can do about it.” Yes, there are a lot of terrible people and no, we can’t change that fact – we can change systems, situations, laws, etc., in various ways that give the terrible people less power, opportunity and incentive to cause such destruction, but we can’t change the fact that there are terrible people. There always have been, there always will be.
But there have always been amazing people, and there always will be, and that will always be worth fighting for, even if it’s a fight that won’t ever end.