The Goodness Within Us

Rochelle - Columbus, Ohio
Entered on August 3, 2008

I believe in the simplicity of recognition. I believe in the natural goodness within

us to allow for the existence of a world whereby all people — of the various

colors, life choices, and backgrounds — are simply seen, appreciated, and recognized

for the unique individuals they are.

A world of completely likeminded people with uniform appearances brings images

of a bland, uninspired place to be. Think of great minds sitting idly for lack of

thought-provoking ideas … an artist depicting nothing but universally accepted, and

expected, imagery … the world’s people sharing cooking recipes that end up being

virtually identical.

As nobody is born racist, homophobic, or bigoted, I can only wonder, perpetually, how

some adults disguised as parents can openly pollute the minds of young citizens with

blatant ideas of hatred: blind hate and disdain for another person’s beliefs, appearance,

simple pleasures, or religion … only because another person doesn’t look just like

them … because another person doesn’t share the same opinion.

The tragedy of Angie Zapata comes to mind. An eighteen-year-old transsexual woman in

Colorado, she was physically beaten because of the person she was. By all accounts, Angie

was a caring, outgoing young woman looking toward a productive life for herself. Let it

be known that the brutality ended when she stopped moving. This woman, living in America in

the year 2008 was beaten to her death because someone else didn’t like

the type of person she was.

The people and things to be cherished, explored, and welcomed are viewed as

“weird”, “blasphemous” … “troublemaker”. People of diverse tastes, beliefs, and

cultures are often told to “get it together and straighten yourself out”. I see those

types of sentiments for what they truly are: various forms of saying, “I don’t live

that way, and neither should you”. “I don’t think in that manner, and neither should

you.” Throw in a dash of “What will the neighbors think?” and the recipe for myopic

trains of thought is complete.

It amazes me to discover the numbers of people who simply can’t or won’t think for

themselves. The notion of “playing it safe because it’s the thing to do” is utterly

bizarre and seems to border insanity. Here’s an idea: Live your life according to

what best suits you — not your mother, co-worker, and certainly not your neighbor.

A unique sense of perspective and appreciation are what I’ve gained in the

value, education, and openness toward those people equally open to sharing a piece of

themselves … and for the intolerant, still-ignorant bunch: this transgendered

woman has faith in your goodness, too.