The Good Found In All Men

Kevin - Brookfield, Illinois
Entered on September 29, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: humility

When I was little, I always wanted to go to work with my dad because he worked at an insurance company with a lot of large computers that I found fascinating when I was that age. When I was five years old, my dad finally caved and took me to work with him. Around noon, I started to get hungry and began to pester my dad with requests for lunch. My dad said he was busy and he said we would get lunch in a while. After a tedious hour of flicking paper clips at the wall, my dad’s boss came to his office to give him his paycheck. My dad made a compromise. He said if he went to buy me lunch, I had to go with him to the bank to cash his paycheck, being the inquisitive child that I was, I agreed, excited to leave the office, since the novelty of it had worn off hours before. First we got lunch, feeling content, I quietly followed my dad to the bank. We got in line, and waited. We had been in line for only a few minutes when a man came in, pulled out a gun, and fired two shots into the ceiling. I remember being pushed to the ground by my dad. The man was not alone, he had two partners. I don’t remember much of the half hour we were stuck in the bank, most of what actually happened I had to be reminded of by my dad, but I will always remember the fear in the third man’s eyes. Although my father told me not to look, again being the inquisitive child I was, I regularly snuck glances at the three men. The third man, who had only come out of the vault moments before, seemed scared, like he didn’t want to be there. To this day, I don’t know if the two men are free or if they’re still incarcerated. However, I’ll always remember the look in the third man’s eyes that gave him the look of a scared child, and that that event in my life left me with the belief that everyone is inherently good.

When one looks back on history, we see many examples of people putting aside their differences for the good of their fellow man. No matter if they were soldiers, dictators, or common thieves. Take the Christmas Armistice for example, the temporary truce made in 1914 during World War One between German and British troops in Belgium where the firing stopped for those two days, and the German soldiers joined the British soldiers in celebration of the holidays. It is said that both sides hung lights on their trenches and joined each other in song. These soldiers stopped fighting, so the other side could have a brief respite from the blood-shed of WWI. They forgot their differences and focused on togetherness. Another example that everyone has a good interior and it doesn’t take all that much to find it.