Tuesday, January 24, 2006


I think you can tell a lot about how a person looks at the world and other people by how they would answer the following two questions:

1) Do you think people are inherently good (trustworthy) or evil (untrustworthy)?

2) Do you think the world is a place of order or of chaos?

So, of course, here's where I reveal what I think. I think people are basically good. Or, at least, I tend to trust people until they give me a reason to think otherwise. Perhaps I've been fortunate but I've had few people ever intentionally betray my trust or stab me in the back. I believe everyone has a shadow/dark side but I think most people are either ashamed of that part of themselves or they selectively express it and it doesn't define who they are. Or they have a skewed moral perspective and what they think of as evil or sinful are merely aspects of being a typical human being with weaknesses and faults.

As for the world, I tend towards theories of chaos rather than karma. Years ago, I had a close friend Phillip who had an attitude of providence or, basically, that the universe would provide for him when he needed things. And, remarkably, that was true for him...everything (jobs, love, money, success) seemed to come to him at the exact moment when he needed it. Not spectacular things or riches, but enough to provide him with a full life.

But my experience has been different...."sure things" fall apart...I fall for someone at the most inappropriate time, like when I'm moving to another state/city...people I know who are deserving suffer while those with little talent succeed...individuals get serious health problems when everything seems to be going well in their lives...I am born into a nation and family where I have enough to eat and a roof over my head while others are born into starvation and unstable environments. Life is clearly unfair.

The upside of chaos though is that you can receive blessings that are completely undeserved. I'm not sure that I would call it "luck" and I would never bet on a longshot winning the Triple Crown. But the most unlikely things happen, things that are unpredictable and unexpected and sometimes those things are wonderful and more beautiful than you ever imagined.

And therein lies the slim hope I have in my future. I think a certain amount of success comes through hard work but most of the course of my life has been completely out of my control and is never what I would have imagined or planned it to be. There have been more twists and curves than Lombard Street, some good, some very unpleasant. So rather than being an optimist or pessimist, I think I would call myself a realist...life is hard and unfair but people are generally good and the most amazing things can happen to you when you least expect them.

Here's hoping that something amazing and unpredictable happens to you today!