During my corporate years, an executive of the company once pulled me aside and told me his philosophy that there are two types of people. He called them “good bears” and “bad bears.” He thought I would be delighted to know I was a good bear. My first reaction, which I kept inside my head where it would be safe was “Thanks for the nothing, you simplistic bastard.” But in the fullness of time I have come to embrace his philosophy.
I allow for some slop in my designations. Everyone is nice sometimes, and everyone has their selfish or evil moments. But at a person’s core you will find either a good bear or a bad bear.
Case in point, a reader sent me this observation from his workplace.
“Extra food from company events is often put in the break room areas for those who weren’t involved in the meeting. I have a co-worker who, when happening upon the food, will pack it up and take it home. He rarely leaves anything behind. One time he was seen taking the bag the food was delivered in out of the trash so he could repack it. He’s been seen packing up the left over plastic silverware, napkins and plates, but leaving behind the Italian dressing. He must not like that kind.”
While I can’t rule out the possibility that this person was taking the food to a homeless shelter, something tells me that isn’t the case. The homeless often like Italian dressing. In any case, this is just an example.
Do you buy into the philosophy that people are either good bears or bad bears at their core?