People Aren’t Bad

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Today, the Hotness and I hired a handyman to do, well, handyman stuff. I can’t even explain handyman stuff, which is why I’m not a handyman.

Anywho, Mike, the handyman, came recommended through Hotness’s sister and bro-in-law. Mike attends the church they pastor.

We had a little time to visit with Mike. He seemed such a gentle spirit that I was a little surprised to hear him say, “Ya know, in my younger days, you wouldn’t have even let me through your front door. I used to get really angry, I used to get into a lot of altercations and fights…”

I’ve personally not been in a physical fight since I was in elementary school. And let me tell ya, that kid had it coming! But, past childhood, I’ve never been the kind who thinks problems can be solved with fists.

Mike elaborated a little more. “Somewhere along the way, I figured out I don’t need to be angry at everyone. Not everybody is out to get me.”

I once heard a wise man say, “People are far too concerned about themselves to worry about you.”

Huh. That makes sense. I used to spend a great amount of time thinking people were liars, cheaters and thieves. I used to think I always had to be on guard to protect myself from these nefarious folks. The truth is, bad people DO exist…but they are far, far fewer than most people think.

Still, here’s something deeper: if you choose to live your life protected and guarded, you’re also protecting yourself from intimacy, love, friendship and human relationships. Those are, after all, what make a great life. There’s the saying that no one on their death bed says, “Ya know, I wish I’d worked more.” Same side of that coin, I don’t want to be on my death bed and think, “I’ll die with no friends because I was too concerned someone would hurt me.”

Human intimacy is scary. It takes guts to be authentically open and human with others. But ya know what’s also scary? The number of sad and lonely people in the world who are miserable because they are too afraid of opening themselves to another person.

Listen to Mike, friends: “Not everybody is out to get you…”

In fact, most everyone, at their core, wants the same thing: love, intimacy and connection. Those things are really, really hard to have when you’re angry and protective. Trust me on this, been there, done that.

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