I believe in people.

by Alex from Maybe ( ) Together

A colleague told me they’d stopped believing that people are inherently good.
This angered me. (and they know this…because when I get angry I tell people, and perhaps the fault there is, a little too quickly)
Because if you don’t believe in people, then there are many things you can’t believe in that I know they do.
Like democracy.
And friendship.
And generosity.
And empathy.

They lost this belief because people weren’t supporting them.
Or taking sufficient political action.

We all have our off days. But when we say things like this in a public setting, it does exactly the opposite of your intention: to shake people up into action. It’s an apathetic action without empathy to the fact we are all human.

Today I sat in the melbourne CBD as part of an artwork in an animal-type costume. I was trying to engage people in a small interaction.

I soon realised people thought I was busking.
Or doing some form of marketing ploy.
And had trouble understanding it was free.
They therefore were avoiding me at any cost if I approached them.
(oh the joys of interaction – the learning!)

So I tried a different tactic.
I sat there, knitted and whenever someone looked at me, or the stunning set, I waved and smiled.
That was it.

And I got hundreds of genuine waves and smiles back.
95% of the people i waved to, waved back. Isn’t that great?

Learning #1: we live in a world where public space has been monopolised by commercial interest. Isn’t that a bit sad? It made me sad.
But I completely understood the reactions.

Learning #2: people still react to a generous and simple wave and smile.

Challenge:  how to get that wave to be more than a wave.

Because when people do the interaction, they write things like this:

And this was not the exception.
It was the rule.