"Seeing why people are neat" isn't listed on my resume. And to be frank, I'm not sure I understood it when she told me that. I probably don't now - but I've been pondering it over the past few days.
Here's what I've come up with:
The more I understand the guys in my lab, the cooler I think they are.
What I mean by general goodness is that once people put down their facades, they tend to be good-hearted. It might be difficult to see past the projected image, but once the walls are down, and the person in question knows their real character has been exposed - the humility of them causes their goodness to glow.
One friend of mine who has a gift for getting past the facades is Brandon Hill, a.k.a. "The Bull Rider".
The Bull Rider
Brandon is a year younger than I am - and he's had this company for four years. Meaning, he must have started it when he was pretty fresh from his mission. Who does that?! Starts up a mechanical bull company in their early twenties?! I got a kick out of him. And the more I got to know him, the bigger the kick. He's getting married tomorrow - by the way.
Either through his diverse background of mechanical bull crowd control or just through some God-given gift, that old Bull Rider has a way of making you feel like you're having a "real" conversation when you talk with him. I think he's one who sincerely believes in the general goodness of strangers.
Dialing in Perspective
I have some friends that don't understand this. They still view the world as a scary place - that strangers are to be feared, not approached for random conversation. And the effect this mindset is that it turns one excessively introspective, anti-social, and timid. The world becomes dark to those who assume it is.
To those who assume otherwise, however, the opposite is true: the world is full of opportunity.
Take for example one of my favorite movies, Secondhand Lions. When Walter first meets his two uncles, Garth and Hub - he expects to be unenthused. But as he learns who they are and the backgrounds they have, he begins to love them. His love for them is only reinforced when he sees how they generally try to be good. The second point is even quoted in the script of that movie:
Hub: "Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most. That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love... true love never dies. You remember that, boy. You remember that. Doesn't matter if it's true or not. You see, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in." (underline added for emphasis)I particularly like the last phrase - that "those are the things worth believing in". The concept that things can be "worth believing in" means that certain things have a worthy effect when we chose to believe them.
When we believe that people are interesting and generally good, three things happen: our lives becomes more enjoyable, our relationships thrive, and we approach the future with confidence.
So why are people neat? Because it's worth seeing them that way.