Philosophers and everyday people alike have partaken in the age-old debate as to whether humans are good by nature or innately programmed to be bad. Everyone could always use some more positivity in their life to help get them through the day. However, could there be more benefits to rethinking our perspective? To explore this further, 1-800 Contacts asked over 1,000 people their stance on the debate of whether they see good in others, and about human nature and analyzed the effects their beliefs had on their lives.
In what seems to be an increasingly divisive society, it can be difficult to see where anyone has common ground. Fortunately, the majority of people surveyed (83%) believe people are fundamentally good. Older generations are actually more likely to hold this belief. 91% of Baby Boomers believe people are good in nature compared to only 75% of Generation Z. The majority of both men and women equally believed in humanity’s innate good.
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The study found the respondents not only supported the belief of people’s inherent good, but they also extended their positivity to aid others financially. Nearly 3 in 4 believe they are responsible for helping others by providing financial support. 78% give money directly to those in need, even more give money to charity. The study’s respondents were willing to extend compassion through charity as well as see it in others. Compassion is the #1 positive characteristic people recognize in others.
Correlation Between Financial Health And Seeing The Good In Others
Seeing the good in others is a great way to help get everyone in a charitable mood. However, it can also help one’s personal financial health as well. One of the biggest benefits of having a more positive outlook is a better salary. Those who believe people are inherently bad make $5,000 less on average, compared to those who see the good in others. Likewise, reframing your perception of those around you can directly impact your ability to change your annual earnings. Those who believe people are fundamentally good are 19% more likely to have received a raise within the last year than those who believe people are naturally bad.
Sure, a little more money in your paycheck can cause an uptick in anyone’s mood, but thinking positively has an undeniable ripple effect. Whether you’re simply searching for inspiration to look on the bright side or trying to tweak your perceptions for all the financial benefits they have, seeing the good in others is something we can all incorporate a little more into their lives.