There are three things I choose to believe:
- At their core, people are good.*
- Everybody has shit to deal with.
- Hurt people hurt people.
Most of the time we hide our mess and our problems and the things which we’d rather not have people see…things we’re ashamed of, things that are too tender, things that make us feel things too much. It makes those breakthrough moments – when that surface cracks, or even shatters, when a few people can see inside and are exposed and trusted with all the fear – it makes them so moving and so beautiful. When someone lets their guard down and lets all their darkest fears out, speaking them into the light, letting their words reverberate – having that courage to share their story and express themselves in the most free way possible is euphoric to be a part of.
Let me just break down those three ideas:
At their core, people are good.
Most of the general population aren’t murders (and those who are murders mostly show remorse and very rarely kill again, but that’s an entirely different tangent.) People are dumb, and people are extraordinary. People make mistakes. Mostly though, they come from a place of wanting to do good. Obviously not everyone has the same motivations, but 99.9999% of the population are capable of love, and of different types of love: platonic, romantic, spiritual. This is my tūrangawaewae. This is my stance, my standing place, my perspective and grounding. I always want to welcome new experiences.
Everybody has shit to deal with.
Some people hold more privilege than others. Some people are born into third world countries; others into first world countries. Some are discriminated against by the culture/colour of their pigmentation and others are treated like gods for their pale skin. That is how it works. It is terrible. It is so flawed. When I went overseas and lived in Bahrain I saw firsthand the way I, a caucasian female, was treated, versus a Filipino immigrant, for example. I got hit on, stalked, and catcalled. I was treated disgustingly by some Arab men, yet I also knew I held white privilege. I could see it. I was seen as more attractive than the Asian population and than the local Bahraini people et cetera. I was given things I didn’t want or need. I was served, and it was uncomfortable. As a New Zealander, having people fold my clothes for me, wait on me, address me as madam, felt so wrong. I have gone on a bit of a tangent I realise, but the point I am trying to make is that while we don’t hold the same levels of hurt or pain – we all hurt the same. That is universal. I recognise that my appearance, my culture, my privilege and my sexuality all tie into the way the world sees me and how people interact with me. The same goes for anybody else. Some people have a shit time of it, and others have a pretty easy ride. But nobody escapes the lightning bolt of wrath, so to speak. Everybody hurts, at different times in their lives.
Hurt people hurt people.
I believe poverty is entrenched and cyclic in most circumstances. I believe that the circumstances that people are born into heavily dictate their future prospects in life. This is unfortunate but it also makes sense. This is why social welfare issues are so confusing and complex and low socio-economic families need support from the ground up. Education is the answer, to me. Education, community, and multi-faceted support systems are the only way in my eyes. Furthermore, people who are hurting need to be treated with and shown aroha, amour, love, before they end up hurting somebody else real bad.
*Yes. There are a small percentage of complete psychopaths in the world but I believe that to be a psychiatric disorder. I think almost all criminals are not evil, they are hurting, and they have been mistreated – and so they mistreat. Their transgressions are cyclic. It has been done to them, and so they do it to others. They mostly show remorse for their actions. This does not excuse their behaviour or validate their reasons behind their choices. It merely means to me that most criminals/potential criminals can be steered away from a self-destructive future.