“I really admire you for your courage,” Suzanne told me as we left class one morning. She followed behind my motorized wheelchair. “I bet most people like you never amount to anything.”

        “Don't you think it depends on their character?” I said as we got outside and headed for Sprawl plaza. “What they really want? And how bad?”

        “Most people are lazy,” she said. “It's human nature to take the easy way. To cheat and steal if they have to. Or when they can. ”

        That led us into a discussion about what the true nature of humankind was. Suzanne believed that people were basically selfish and self-centered from the start. I argued that if people were more evil than good, the human race would've gone extinct long ago.

        “Only the weak!” she quipped.

        “If people go back to their original nature,” I argued as we sat at a table, “they'll find every virtue you can name.”

        She wrinkled her nose. “You're too far into that Zen stuff. I can dig that, but it's a fad. I think people's original nature is screwed.&rdqu o;

        “I think you and I are like dogs chasing their tails,” I said.


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Copyright 2001, Gary Kline