How many people, when they were kids, wanted to be a good person? It didn’t matter if they became a gladiator, astronaut, chef (ahem), teacher…. just that they were a good person? Well, it didn’t cross your mind then, and it certainly doesn’t cross your mind now. The thing is, some of us think we are good people, some of us aim to be good, better people, and others choose not to be.
It might be best to start with what makes a person a good person. Typically we think of churchgoing, family-loving, bake sale helping, friendly, smiley, wholesome, working, caring, dedicated to making a difference, never speaking badly of anyone even when they deserve it- a good person.
If that is the criteria as to how to be a good person, then I simply don’t match up. Honestly, I’m not the best person I could be. Sure, I care about people, I care about the world even, but that’s not the way I live my life. I’m sympathetic without being empathetic, although I do want to solve the problems of anyone I care about, and sometimes even the ones I don’t care about. That makes me more of an idiot than a good person though. God knows how much time I’ve wasted trying to help those who didn’t want, appreciate, or reciprocate my help.
I don’t think a person’s goodness should be measured by how their family interacts either. What if you don’t have one? Better question- what if you don’t have one that even cares about you or considers you family? It’s a double-edged sword, because if you treat your family like absolute shit when they love you and would do anything for you, then no, you aren’t a very good person in that way. People are going to do, say and think bad things, and that doesn’t make them bad. It’s when they have no remorse when guilty, or when they think that they have done nothing wrong, that it becomes apparent that they need to judge themselves.
I can admit to being a bad friend sometimes, a lousy conversationalist, whiny, annoying, and way too analytical. But I know my wrongdoings and I slowly work on being better to myself and to others…. to others that deserve it. Let’s be serious, there are people out there that don’t deserve mine or your time when all they want to do with it is waste it, or they live a life that’s built on the back of the others they had to put down in order to be satisfied with themselves. I’ve known people like this- friends and family like this. This is when you cut the connection and move on.
Surround yourself with the people that will love you unconditionally, cherish your time as much as you do theirs, and who will be loyal to you when things fall apart. Being around good people can, by osmosis, make you a good, better person. As for me, I’ve got one foot in the sea and one on the shore. I don’t know if I’m coming or going; but my heart has been moved by an amazingly powerful force, so my feet have to move to catch up. A good person chases after the things in life that has the ability to alter their soul in the very best of ways. I want to be that kind of good person.