**This is "Chapter 2" in my "book" about what I believe, and why. You might wish to look at Chapter 1, my first post in this series, dated August 14, 2013. It should explain my philosophy regarding beliefs, and how I decided that it was time to write them down.

Some of my core beliefs are: People are basically good; We are all "connected" to each other; It's important to have a purpose in life; Wars accomplish nothing....and other more controversial beliefs.

So....let us begin about people.

People are basically good! Yes, that's what I said! I can almost hear the chorus of doubters, skeptics, and nonbelievers at my door, aghast at such heresy. How could someone arrive at such a conclusion? The man has lost touch with reality...that's why he thinks that way. (Excuse my hyperbole!)

No, actually I'm convinced that a majority of individuals believe that people are essentially good. This is amazing, especially when you consider all the negativity we are exposed to which attempts to make the case that the opposite is true.

If you are paying attention, you must realize that every day we are subjected to an onslaught of "information" from the media, the internet, political pundits, religious groups, family and friends, et. al...that are broadcasting one message...people are evil, immoral, dishonest, corrupt, mean, worthless, (add in your personal favorite)...people are fundamentally bad! While they sometimes don't make that claim outright, it is implied in what they do say.

My belief in the goodness of people wasn't a conclusion that was reached easily. That belief was "tested" during my 30 year career as a Probation Officer, working with juveniles and hardened felons. Working with that population tended to distort ones overall view of humanity. Were most people out in society bad? Of course they are not! Are they perfect? No! In all those years, I never encountered anyone that was inherently "bad!" Almost without exception, you could trace back why they had become involved in delinquent behavior and crime.

Most of us could come up with anecdotal evidence that highlights the worth of people. Unless you've been a hermit or a religious recluse, all of us have met good people. Recall that "good morning smile"from a stranger; a kind word from your boss; a helping had from a neighbor; a compliment from a competitor; and so on. You've probably experienced a driver allowing you to "go first" at the intersection; an elevator door held open for you; a friend listening to you without judgment; that person who would spend time with an elder; or a donor who saved a life through an organ transplant!

Well...I believe you get my drift.

Until next time and "Chapter #3, remember to look for the GOOD in everyone. Larry**

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