Tommy Lee Jones once made an extremely impactful line to a young and impressionable Will Smith, in a little throwback movie called Men In Black. He made the remark that “A person is smart, but people are dumb…” I feel as if this is a common notion that people often associate with the masses, even if it isn’t with these exact adjectives. A person can be selfless, but people as a whole are greedy; or a person can be kind, but people in general are rude. As a result of my recent travels, I want to respectfully disagree with those beliefs, and tell you I first hand witnessed the complete opposite.
I have recently returned to my home base in Florida after traveling all around the eastern United States on a marketing road trip for Be Robin Hood. What did I discover? People are kind, whole hearted, and welcoming individuals if they have the opportunity to be. Nobody wakes up and wants to be that rude man in the back of the Starbucks line, or that ignorant individual on the subway. Society and circumstances have shaped us into an array of individuals trying to get the most done, at the quickest pace, while making the most money. This is an inevitable lifestyle to most, and one that many can never break out of.
Throughout my life, I have been fortunate enough to gather a group of people who I can trust and rely on when circumstances call for assistance. During the launch of Be Robin Hood, friends and family have been of the utmost importance, and this trip was another example of that. I made a goal not to spend a dime on the places where I stayed over the course of my trip. I wouldn’t impose or demand housing from those I spoke to as that’s not at all in my nature, but I would casually bring up my travel plans and see if there was a bite - and there were. I ventured from Chicago, to Canada, down to Syracuse, over to Long Island, all around Boston, then to Providence, Baltimore, then Durham before finally arriving back home in Florida.
The most amazing part was the reaction I received when finally sitting down to talk to everyone. I told them my story, my goals, my dilemmas, my successes. A smile made its way onto every face and a reaction of unadulterated support followed. When it was time to depart and make my way to the next location, the words “Come back soon”, or “You’re welcome anytime” were always some of the last exchanged between us.
I’d like everyone to step back to elementary school where we had that golden poster on the wall that stated, “Do unto others as you would have them unto to you”.
After reading this post, if just one person takes a step back from everything to reconsider this mantra and possibly make a small change in their daily lifestyle, I consider it a success. Treat others as you would like to be treated, or better yet, treat others even better than you’d like to be treated. If we continue to hold to our values of love, not greed; the possibilities of what we can do not only as a person, but as people, are endless.