In the course of a typical day, I experience the goodness of others on a regular basis. On the drive to school, I am at the liberty of a random stranger to be let onto the congested traffic of 69 North. After arriving at school, I see my groggy-eyed classmates and exchange a knowing smile, proving I’m not alone in late night studying or assignments. Strolling down senior hall, I witness countless conversations—whether it is a consoling reminder that “they weren’t the only one to forget about that test” or a simple realization that two people drink the same coffee in the morning. Almost without a doubt, a parent pops into the front office with the forgotten lunch of his or her child who would have otherwise gone hungry. During passing periods, I become the spectator of a person on crutches walking alongside a helper with a double load of books up to the chin or a running hug from across the hall just to make someone else smile. I can count on the help of others to calm me down for a test or cheer me up when I get stuck in the monotonous routine of daily life. The bell rings and I go on with my day to eventually have another thoughtful stranger let me onto 69 South.
I believe there is good in everyone.
I’ve seen others bully fellow classmates because of a desire to feel superior. I’ve seen people talk about others behind their backs due to insecurity. I’ve seen girls try to sabotage relationships through gossip. I’ve seen boys make fun of classmates in pursuit of a laugh.
But even after seeing all of this, I’ve never given up thinking that everyone has a certain goodness within them.
I’ve also seen a chivalrous boy give his suit jacket to his shivering Homecoming date, a crazed football fan cheer for hours without fear of losing his voice, a lunch-goer pay for her friend’s French fries, and a consoling buddy pat his soccer teammate on the back after a missed penalty kick.
No matter what, if I look hard enough, I can find goodness in others. I’ve seen too many genuine smiles across the hallway, hugs “just because”, renewals of once-lost friendships and random acts of kindness to not believe there is good in everyone.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.