“I believe if you just go by the nightly news,
your faith in all mankind would be the first thing you lose.”
I recently had the chance to travel to the Midwest and back from my Maryland home. It was a long “guy” road trip of over 3,200 miles. We journeyed to Sturgis, South Dakota for their annual biker rally. The rally itself was an awesome experience, one I’d recommend for anyone who enjoys riding a motorcycle. This post, however, isn’t about the rally, it’s about the people we met along the way.
Traveling across the United States and meeting people from all walks of life restored my faith in humanity. As we rode, I kept hearing Luke Bryan’s song, Most People Are Good on the radio. The song and lyrics resonated with me because they’re true. Most people ARE good, it just took a trip across the heartland to remind me.
We met people in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. We traveled through big towns and small towns. We met waiters, waitresses, bartenders, tattoo artists, bikers, firefighters, police officers, sales people, hotel staff, and many fellow travelers along the way. They all shared one thing in common. They were good people.
I’m not a Pollyanna nor am I a cynic. I tend to take people as they come. We, of course, ran into people who were less than polite or respectful, but they were few and far between. We were shown kindness by strangers, respect just for the sake of respect, and compassion without condition.
I did something on this trip that I don’t always do when I travel. I asked people questions. I don’t know why. I just wanted to hear what they were thinking. It didn’t take much to get people to open up. Maybe some have never been asked. Each had their individual stories, but they all spoke about their aspirations, their struggles, and their families. They all remain positive and hopeful even though some are faced with significant challenges.
Maybe that’s why this trip was so important. It got me away from watching the news and reading the paper. Taking the time to talk with people was surprisingly cathartic. We all get caught up in the daily grind of our lives. Learning a little about others can provide a healthy perspective on what really matters. Skeptical? Take a long road trip, ask a few questions. People will surprise you.
Luke Bryan- Most People Are Good