Human life possesses a vast multitude of functions and potentials. If we can fully harness these, we can accomplish great things. However, we often lack confidence in this, frequently making ourselves out to be incompetent, incapable or just no good. This is because we often fail to understand the greatness of our own lives. Even If we understand intellectually or theoretically, we still don’t know how to tap the wonderful potential we have inside.
Many religions, philosophies or systems of thought have sought to define just what it means to be human. For instance, one view holds that human nature is fundamentally good, while another idea portrays human beings as basically evil. According to the first view, human beings exhibit evil behaviour in response to negative influences exerted by government or society. For example, if people were allowed to live freely, without societal controls, then according to this view, they would stop engaging in crime or other kinds of negative behaviour.
The other view suggests that if people are left on their own, without the strict protection and control of the law or fear of a god or deity, they will be naturally inclined towards evil behaviour. For example, in Europe and America, verbal agreements are not given much credence. Since the word of others is not generally well trusted, people are often required to clearly and specifically spell out their understanding of business agreements or transactions in the written form of a contract. If one party breaks this written agreement, he is subject to a lawsuit or penalty. We could say that this system of mutual distrust is based on the view that people are fundamentally bad and cannot be trusted without strict controls.
Human life possesses both good and evil qualities. When one’s life is exposed to a bad influence, evil tends to emerge. If the bad influence is allowed to hold sway long enough, one will eventually become a “bad person.” On the other hand, a good influence will cause one’s goodness to emerge. Thus by continually associating with a good influence, one can develop into a “good person.” The good or evil of one’s mind begins to function and to manifest itself in accord with one’s meeting a good or evil influence.
So good influence surely can shape one person’s life entirely for the better. But in order for us to tap that ultimate state of supreme goodness, we must come in contact with a supremely good influence. Yet, we still hold the ability to convert any sort of bad influence into a positive one, if we truly wish to. And we also can hold our own, by being what we are and doing what is right, irrespective of what or who we are surrounded by.