To be Good at Heart

I want to go back to something a young diarist said. She was only a kid at the time. I think she was about 13 when she started her diary. While I’ve heard about the controversy that suggests the diary was not written by a young girl at all; still, I want to go back to the Diary of Anne Frank where she said, “In spite of everything, I still believe people are good at heart.”

I want to think about people who discuss the unexamined life. I know that they exist. I want to know people who are brave enough to dare and be true to themselves. If asked, I’d prefer to be like those who are not afraid to dare or experience adventure.
I want to think about people who live regardless of the deaths they might face or the sickness they might feel. it is clear to me that there are people in this world who we consider to be disabled yet they have more abilities in their heart than anyone else does throughout their entire body.
Yes. I want to think about the good and about people who inspire. I want to think about people who look to heal instead of fight or torture one another with superfluous arguments and sad resentments that have nothing to do with anything except ego.
It’s true. There are some mean, underhanded people in this world. There are people who look to steal souls more than money. And should someone get hurt in the meantime, then so be it. Thieves do not care the same as a fisherman does not care for the catch nor butchers care about the slaughter. It’s just business. Right?

I want to think about people who have made the decision to live and love, out loud, as best as they can and for as long as they can.
I want to think about those who inspire to live instead of those who inspire to die. Or, we can take the people we know. For example, I used to see a person at work all the time. After a while, I learned not to ask him about anything. He was hard to say hello to or ask the simple, “How are you?” because his answers were always unsettling.
Nothing was ever good. He was angry, lonely, discontent, and to be honest, this person became the brunt of many jokes, which was something that he brought on himself. 
I suppose we all know someone like this.

I think about the people who run the gossip mills and the rumor factories. I think about the ability to think or talk about anything in this world. We can talk about ideas. We can talk about plans and our future. We can talk about dreams and hopes, aspirations and accomplishments.
However, there are people who are more interested in talking about other people – these are people who love to point fingers. They love to find the cracks, the flaws, the weakness and imperfections of others. They prey on this.
Meanwhile, I’ve always wondered what the conversation must be like when I leave the room. I wonder who’s next on the chopping block. Is it you? Is it me? It’s got to be someone because otherwise, how do the gossips survive without any characters in the slaughterhouse?
Is there any limit to the backstabbing and character assassinations, like maybe a bag limit of six or less than a dozen? Or to them, is it always open season so that the gossips can keep meat on the table.

I want to go back to the idea that in spite of everything, people are still good at heart.
I want to think about a girl who was in hiding. This is a girl, who if (and when) she was found, would face a certain death yet in spite of everything, this little girl still dared to dream.
Is anyone this brave?
Am I?
Are you?
She dared to think about the heavens in spite of the thunder or lightning. In spite of everything, she believed that the world would somehow turn around and good would overcome and peace would find our hearts. I can say she was wrong. I can say she was absolutely wrong because she died in one of the death camps, Bergen-Belson, to be exact. She died in a Concentration Camp at the age of 16 during the year 1945.

I can say that I see a lot of pain around me. I can say that I see a lot of fear. I see the news, like the news that came from Brooklyn, yesterday morning. There was a shooting on the subway. I have heard about mass shootings in different places like this and the news was equally as ugly.

I was thinking about the anger in the world. I was thinking about the people in the workplace. I thought about the way we interact – or fail to.
I was thinking about the racial insensitivity and I shook my head at those who preach for justice while in the meantime, I’ve seen them serve themselves and promote an injustice to others.

For one, I am not a social justice warrior. I’m just me.
However, who I am on one front is who I am on all fronts.
I am not perfect by any means. I admit to my biases. I admit to trained assumptions and inaccurate ideas. Furthermore, I admit to my subconscious programs, which lead me to subconscious responses and behaviors.
However, inaccuracies and faults to the side; I know that I am someone in need of improvement. But more, I am humbled quite frequently when I see the world around me. I am humbled when shown the truth or when shown that there is more to life than meets the eye. I am humbled and, moreover, I am sure that I need to improve.

We can see the fat cats and the business executives who sit up high and look at the people as if they are below. We can see people who amuse themselves by talking to “The help,” and it’s sad.
We can see the self-serving cycle that spins round and round (for some) and while others breath out, someone around them is only there, just to breathe in.
It is sad to wonder if anybody really cares about the life or the health of others. And by health I mean emotional health and wellbeing. 

I have seen people expect others to fail. I have seen people be surprised as well.
There are times when I do presentations on wellbeing when I am told not to expect too much.
Yesterday morning began with a shooting in Brooklyn. I was worried about my day ahead. I was uncomfortable about my upcoming webinar on our personal wellbeing in the workplace.
Who knows who will show up to these things?

Just before show time, I heard someone tell me “Here they come..” Quickly, the numbers of people in the waiting room who were waiting for the show to go live were beginning to add quickly.
Sometimes we think that no one cares. Sometimes we assume that everyone has their own life in front of them – and they cannot see anything else – or, maybe they don’t want to or care to.

I assumed the show had somewhere around 150 viewers who were online. It turns out that the data proved there were almost 900 participants in the webinar.
That’s 900 people who gathered online to listen, think and talk about personal wellbeing.

The honor I take from this is that numbers like this are unheard of for small venues like this. This is not about me or my presentations. No, this is about close to 1,000 people who are interested in the betterment of their lives and the lives of others. 

It rained in the morning and the news was sad.
But out of nowhere, the sky cleared, and for the moment, the world found a way to right itself.

Dear Anne,

I am humbled by the thought of you and your diary. I am humbled by how you were able to write what you believed and how in spite of all the cruelties around you – you still dared to believe.
I’m sorry that you never had the chance to see your life open up to what you dreamed of. But, then again – perhaps a hero like you has the ability to see the light in the darkest places. Maybe you saw more than I think. At least, I hope so.
Perhaps a hero like you has x-ray vision or better yet, perhaps a hero like you can see into the depths of someone’s heart – and make them better just by being around you. 

I don’t know if I have that gift (or talent) but I do know this: I know who I am. I know who I want to be. I know that I want to improve. I know that in spite of everything – I still want to be good at heart.
Like you, an angel, forever
and always . . .

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