I like people. I am not sure if I have always liked them. It may be that, earlier in life, I was so wrapped up in figuring out my place in the world that I hated people or feared them.
But now, sitting here and writing this, I am sure that I like them.
I come by this affection for others honestly. I have every reason to like other people. After all, it was other people who helped me to become who I am.
My parents taught me right from wrong, responsibility, and how to show affection.
My friends taught me the value of fellowship.
A series of formidable and excellent romances taught me how to be a better man and gave me the insight to court and marry my formidable and excellent wife.
My comrades in arms taught me what it is like for one person to put his life in the hands of another.
This affection for others informs my principles.
Love is a wonderful and noble pursuit. Because I like people, I believe it is wrong to be cavalier with the affections of a human heart. I believe that those close to us should be treated with compassion.
Because I like people, I believe that when we meet in civil society, we should show tolerance for each other’s idiosyncrasies, traditions, and beliefs.
I believe in the value of day’s work. I respect people for what they go through in their lives. Life isn’t easy; I am constantly amazed by the good nature people show in the face of difficult circumstances.
I understand that there are things worth fighting for. War may or may not be the answer; it all depends on what the question is. Because I like people, I do believe that when in the course of human events it became necessary for us to meet on the battlefield we must comport ourselves with honor and not inflict unnecessary suffering on each other. I believe that we must treat those that we capture or kill with decency and respect. I don’t believe it is ever acceptable to torture people in; it debases both the person being tortured and the person doing the torturing. I believe that there are, and have been, many great people in the world. That the founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Henry Dunant, was one of them.
I hope that my children (the son we have and the son we are expecting in January) grow up liking people.
In fact, I know that they will.