Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Deep thoughts on human nature and stuff.

Living in Scotland was idyllic. Cobblestone streets, castles, doctors who make house calls, and complete strangers who open their homes to touring musicians. Ask someone for directions, and they'll likely walk you to your destination. Arrive in a new country with no place to stay, and acquaintances will take you in for a week -- making lifelong friends.

I've always been of the school of thought that people are, by nature, good. Rousseau was my favorite  -- well, a tie with David Hume -- philosopher, and nothing could convince me otherwise.

Then we landed in America. Within a week, my purse was stolen, we learned our storage unit had been ravaged, and I started to re-think Hobbesian theory.

It's been a rough several weeks re-adjusting to life over here. Thankfully, our friends have come out of the woodwork to prove that there are incredibly good people everywhere.

First, after not really seeing us in a year and a half, our closest friends helped us move. You know you are loved when people will move boxes, especially when you're too old for the ol' pizza-and-beer bribe. (Unemployment cancels out that rule though.)

"Thank you!"
Second, we've got a room full of baby hand-me-downs that friends, acquaintances, and even complete strangers have generously donated. I'm eating my words about babies not needing "stuff." We've discovered that unless you want to hold your baby 24-hours-a-day (I'm all for babywearing, but my back is killing me), some of that "stuff" is actually kind of important. The wee boy now has a Bumbo, a swing, and a high chair, not to mention bags of little toys to shake and rattle. He's spoiled already! And he loves it.

Third, we had been living off of noodles and frozen edamame, as we hadn't had the time to get to the store, much less to cook. Our refrigerator looked like a bachelor pad -- pizza boxes and ketchup. What happens? A most wonderful friend shows up with bags and bags of vegan meals for the freezer. I thought we'd missed out on that whole casseroles-to-the-new-parents or apple-pies-to-the-new-neighbors routine.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share my philosophical discovery: It turns out people are good.

But really, how could you look at that face and think otherwise?

P.S. Totally forgot to mention the amazing friend who hired a housecleaner to clean out the nastiness that our renters left behind!!

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