When bad thoughts happen to good people

Since moving to Huntsville, I’ve met a lot of interesting people. I don’t remember many of their names, but I remember who they were.

I remember meeting the sweetheart punk kid trapped in a fraternity boy’s body. I remember knowing the guy that got under everyone’s skin because he could, but underneath that exterior, he was one of the best, most selfless people I’d ever met.

The people who have baffled me the most since coming here have been just as disheartening as they are inspiring. Their hearts are as pure and as giving as they could be, but their opinions sometimes turn out to be what our society would call narrow-minded, even wrong.

I’m a good walk from perfect, and I’ve never had a problem admitting it. But for a majority of my life, I’ve had a hard time understanding why good people could maintain cruel opinions or hurtful outlooks.

Growing up in church, I knew people that really did have God in their hearts, and their personalities reflected that. Others were those hypocrites people like to talk about so much. There were the ladies making hurtful comments, grown men checking out the minister’s daughter, even rumors about the minister having girlfriends within the congregation.

The people I’m talking about are by no means just found in church. A lot of people, including our close friends, family members, even our boyfriends and girlfriends, say things from time to time that make us stop dead in our tracks. From what I’ve come to understand, it’s all about the surroundings a person grows up in. People are molded by a number of important things, including their experiences, the stories they hear, the people they associate with and countless other factors. In forming one’s own ideas, the goodness of a person’s heart can only take them so far if their experiences sway them negatively.

The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter how sweet a person can be. When judgmental or mean-hearted thoughts are built into who a person is, the only way they are ever going to change is through proof of an opposing viewpoint. Good people can wind up having some pretty obscure opinions, but hopefully, the fact that their hearts are kind can give them the ability to work past those ideas eventually.

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