Tuesday, July 5, 2016

are people good or bad?

Lewis talks about the value of democracy and the state of fallen authority today in A Year with C.S. Lewis.

He says that there are two reasons why we might choose democracy. And then he says that either men are good or they are bad. I agree with him in that men are corrupt and that we need to keep them from gaining too much power or they tend to abuse it.

But I contend that men are also good. Even in my own heart, I find both. From one day to the next, even from one moment to the next, I find great generosity... and then great selfishness. I find myself loving people... and then being very uncharitable in my thinking. I help someone in need... and then I selfishly ignore a friend who wants to talk. If I can't even trust MYSELF to be good all of the time... how can I trust other people?

But we ARE good sometimes. We DO work for the common good. I think we can choose both. We choose democracy because man is inherently flawed, like Lewis says. But we also choose it because man is good, at least he is at times. And I've noticed that the evil that men do lives after them, while the good is often interred with their bones. That is to say - we remember when people mess things up... but we're quick to forget when people help people.

Again, I even do this to myself. Don't you? Do you ever wake up at 3am and remember that time you helped someone out with a dollar who needed it? No. You don't. You remember the time you cheated on your math test. Or the time you were rude to your mother. We even give OURSELVES a hard time about the bad things we do... and we gloss over and forget all the little goodnesses that we do each day.

So let it be with Caesar. Let's give the people a democratic hug because they are good. And let's keep an eye on Brutus because he... even he... sometimes stabs you in the back.

God, thanks for giving us wisdom to know that we can sometimes be trusted with great things.

3 comments:

Laura Omelanczuk said...

SOOO true. Well written. I might add that I think we should look for the good in not only ourselves but in each other.

julie reedy said...

Sometimes we find it easier to find fault with others to gloss over or excuse our faults.

Merlinda Carisosa said...

I like what the author said "how can I trust people? If I able to read this article before I might not deceit. Sad to say people sometimes are foolish that in spite of our sincerity and goodness they still doing bad to us.