I believe in people — not just good people or great people, but all people. If there is anything my short time on this earth has taught me, it is that I am nothing without other people. What are my accomplishments if no one is there to see them? What is my joy if I have no one to share it with, and my grief if I have no one to comfort me? I used to think of myself as a very independent person. But when I ask myself these questions, I realize that I rely on other people every single day and that they help define what my life really is.
I have come to realize that this reliance is not just on the ones I love and hold close to me, but that is also on complete strangers. When I was 12 my dad developed a tumor the size of a golf ball in his brain. I wanted to do anything and everything I could to help my dad, but I obviously had neither the knowledge nor the skill to perform brain surgery at the age of 12. So I guess the next best option would be a doctor. But now, suddenly my dad’s future is in the hands of a man I had never even met before- a complete stranger.
Allowing this man to operate on my dad meant that I had to give him my trust, and that for eight long hours I must believe in him. My family’s trust in this man paid off, and my dad’s surgery went smoothly and he made a full recovery. Some might say that this doctor helped my dad because that is what doctors do and that is what they’re paid for. However, I like to think that one person cared for others so much that he would decide to help a complete stranger.
Now, I’m not naïve enough to believe that every single person in this world would save me or any other member of my family if given my trust. But that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t believe in them.
Believing in all people doesn’t just mean believing in doctors I’ve never met before. It means that I believe in everyone: doctors, soldiers, teachers, killers, children, and even myself. If I believe in all people, then that would mean that everyone has the capacity to do good and to care for one another. If I believe that goodness and caring is deep down inside everyone, then people can change. Maybe the horrible things that people have done in the past won’t be repeated. And maybe the world is not the dark abyss of death and destruction that is painted on the news everyday, but rather a place of hope and change.
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