I'm no longer a complete Pollyanna. Not everything in this world is done with the best intentions. Evil does exists. The Craigslist fiasco involving my 1973 Rhodes Electronic Piano (in which I came to the easy decision that it was a desired item everywhere in the United States) turned into a massive scam. After I was sent a multitude of checks (which were bogus) that I was suppose to cash and then the proceeds would be forwarded to a "shipper"* ... I thought "perhaps I should Google this?" Turns out, it is indeed a scam. Evil does exist. Fortunately for me, I didn't cash their bogus checks. I sold the piano to a music teacher in Carlisle, Iowa for cash, and I sent everything back to the evil scammers. I also thought - perhaps the majority of people around the U.S. who were supposedly interested in the piano are actually scammers and really don't give a hoot about a 1973 (albeit very cool) Rhodes Piano. So I could now be jaded and paranoid. However, I'm not. I'm glad this happened - I've become a pragmatic Pollyanna. Hopefully, my experience will help someone avoid this type of scam AND next time before I do a craigslist sort of thing, I'll educate myself on what to expect.
I think in our tiny, and for the most part, safe communities, we are lulled into a non-paranoid bubble of niceness. This isn't a bad thing. I think I would rather potentially be scammed now and again than go about my day brooding over whether or not people are trying to take advantage of me. I think for the rest of my days, I would prefer to assume that people are nice and want to do good things. I like that my neighbors watch out for me. I like the concept of Iowa nice. I like being a (pragmatic) Pollyanna.
Just for today, I'll assume (with a bit of paranoia) that people are acting with the right intention. If someone barks at me or scowls, I'll make the assumption that they probably have stuff going on in their life and I probably don't know the whole story. Just for today, I'll assume (again with a bit of skepticism) that if I want the truth, I'll deal with someone directly. Over the internet or from some other state ... probably not. Just for today, I'll be happy but maybe just a bit smarter with my choices.
*as I write this I'm thinking "Really Steve? Are you really this incredibly stupid?!?" And the answer is "Unfortunately, yes, in this situation, you were an idiot."
-Steve Simonin, President & CEO