When I was in high school I had to read the "Lord of the Flies." The story of a plane crash on a deserted island where the survivors are from a boys school. It is about the evolution of the boy's behavior as time passed and the instinct starts to rev up. After reading the story, the teacher asked us to write an essay about whether or not humans were innately good or evil. Over the years, I often think of this question.
This really cuts to the chase. It represents your basic belief or assumption about the very nature of people. Do you believe at their core that their motivation is for good or evil? But there's another component to that decision, what do you consider to be good and what do you consider to be evil? These answers will be different for each person. Shaped and molded through personal experience, religious frameworks, stories heard through the years, what your parents have taught you. Its is your story. The story you tell of people.
To me, people are animals. We try our best to get along because together we can achieve more and with more, we can provide. We seek to provide for ourselves and our children, so, we may live. We have an amazing survival instinct. When we feel, we have been threatened or we need to take action to survive, we do what's necessary to accomplish that... in other words, if it becomes a you or me situation, then, I will hopefully be the one standing. Is that evil? In high school, I determined it was. Today, I know that a desire to survive may cause us to do horrific things, but one act does not define one's character. I believe that the humans connect with others and thrive most frequently. I believe people are good. I know for the rest of my life. I will reflect on this question and see how its changed. Never underestimate the power of a teacher.