It has been said that the necessity for government is found in the innate inability humans have for behaving themselves. I’m not making this up, this is basically the reasoning found in the United States Constitution video I was showing my class last week. When I heard this it surprised me to say the least. Way to go right out there and say what you mean! “Yup, that’s right people, you can’t be trusted to live by your own devices so we’ll govern you, we’ll make sure you don’t screw up.”
Isn’t this kind of a sad statement on humanity in general? But let’s face it. It’s true. If you ever want to get a brutally truthful look at the future of our country, just ask kids. In an attempt to get them to recognize the necessity of government I posed this question, “If you came into this room one day and found that I was either not here or I was standing in the back giving no directions whatsoever, what would you do?”
The answers were appalling.
Answers ranged from such general ideas as, “I’d leave” to the more benign, “I’d go in your desk and get a computer game to play,” to the passive, “I’d sit at my desk and wait for you to show up,” to the plain disturbing, “I’d run around the room and throw the desks out the window.”
It took literally 6 minutes of discussion before one student volunteered an answer that gave me some hope for the future of our country. She said, “I’d pass out the books and tell people to open to our page and then call on people to start reading.”
Well thank goodness!
I look around me and I see amazing things. I feel that deep down people WANT to do the right thing. They want to be good people. But time and time again we see and hear stories that remove us from that fantasy world and back into reality. The problem? People are passive. They’d rather just sit at their desks and wait to be told what to do or they spend so much time figuring out a way to be destructive that they didn’t stop to think the simple answer was right there in front of them: It isn’t hard to be a good person. You just have to try to do what’s right.