Thursday, January 15, 2009

"...people are really good at heart."

I think those words - or something like them - appear in the the final entry of Anne Frank's diary. And like Anne, the world has shown me that despite everything to the contrary, there are those who are truly good at heart.

In this week's Morning Call column, I wrote about the milestone I would reach in 2009: turning age 50. The point of the piece was really about the idea of looking outward for a change, instead of conducting our typical intense, relentless and harsh assessment of our own lives. It's not as if I don't want to somehow mark the occasion; it's just that this could also give me a chance to think about everything I don't need and a few things other people do.

If you're so inclined, check out the link and read the column. But if not, you should know that enough people have read it, responded to me in the kindest way possible, and restored my flagging faith in our ability to care for each other. Each one of them is everything Bernie Madoff and the people who emulate his behavior are not: compassionate, sincere, unselfish and kind.

And the truth is, that's really all any of us seem to crave these days, isn't it? The idea that we can still believe that people are good at heart? Over the past few months, the news has been filled with nothing but stories of how one group or even one person chose to act in a way that brought harm to many. I'm tired of hearing bad news and believing the worst about yesterday, today and tomorrow. I'm tired of thinking there is no way out of the climate of distress that surrounds us.

And the good-hearted people who responded to the column made that weary, defeated feeling go away. Not all of it - but a lot of it. And that feels pretty good.


Casey Claus said...

I like to think there is good in every heart. 50 ain't so bad! look at it this way, when you turn 70, you will pine for 50, the way I pine for 30 now.
People with good hearts are like fine wine, we get better with age!

renee said...

Thank you - I know it's just a number and deep down, it's meaningless. Just weird to think about 50 - as an abstract. Could I really be 50?
Again, I feel like I should be smarter by now...
Thanks for the comments...