Chapter 21

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Sometimes you'll hear some positive-minded person assure us that most people are good people, it’s only a few that are bad.

I love positive-minded people and I wish that there were more of them. But the "only a few are bad" idea isn't very encouraging. There can be a million people in your town, but it only takes one to shoot up a high school. Only one guy throws his fast food wrappers out the truck window every day, and the roads leading up into my neighborhood are lined with trash. If you have a neighbor who wants you to hear his woofers all the time, that's only one guy, and you can either live a life of hell or pay thousands of dollars to move and you have no guarantee that the new place is any better.


One thing that is encouraging is that we, as a people, tend to tolerate the quirks of individuals as they relate to the contributions that these people make. You might hate businessmen but without them we wouldn't have cars and indoor plumbing, so we put up with them. Geeks can be annoying, but without them we wouldn't have the nifty electronics that enslave us, so we put up with them. Men and women have been putting up with each other for a long time now, despite their respective shortcomings.

But that doesn't mean that we have to put up with the one or two or three percent of people who engage in deliberate cruelty all their whole lives.