The Christian theologian Augustine came up with the doctrine of original sin, the idea that life begins corrupted and needs redeeming.
My preference is for the doctrine of original goodness: people are amazing, capable of astonishing feats of great beauty and kindness.
I admit, though, it doesn’t explain everything. The kind of things resulting from our pride and greed and foolishness make for horrible messes.
We all need some way of explaining our goodness and our badness; it’s how we keep moving forward.
What’s most important is how we think about the future; not what we have been but what we can be. We can relive the past, if we wish, but the future hasn’t happened. We get to shape it. It’s where we all get to change. And how we imagine the future alters our behaviours in the present.
Future benders are those who manage to keep turning up in anticipation of something good happening. When enough people turn up for this work, maybe then, we’ll see what we are made of.