What does it mean to be a good person?
I think that I do good deeds, that I’m polite, that I’m open minded and a good listener, I have patience when needed, I’m courteous, I don’t butt in and I go out of my way to help others. But I don’t know if that makes me a good person.
I have lied and I can’t say that I won’t lie ever again, I think bad things and thoughts, I wish some people would stop talking, I say awful things when I’m angry, I lose my patience, I’m stubborn, I don’t always follow through and I fall short of my own expectations. But does that make me a bad person?
Do any of these things cancel each other out? I don’t believe they do. I’m not sure if someone can be wholly good or wholly bad. I believe that it’s part of human nature to have both good and bad qualities and tendencies.
Granted, some people sway more to the good end of the spectrum and others to the bad. Sometimes you can think you’re doing a good thing and you can feel good about it but if it isn’t good to someone else, or someone else suffers because of it, is it still a good thing you’ve done?
I could say that being a good person is in the eye of the beholder or that as long as you think what you’re doing is good then you should keep doing it. (There is some truth in the latter.) But if what you’re doing isn’t in fact good and you’ve just convinced yourself that it is then there’s not really anything good about it, it’s just an illusion of good. However, going back to the second part of that statement that has some truth to it; if what you’re doing is good and you’re not hurting anyone in the process or being intentionally cruel, and it makes you feel good, then you should absolutely keep doing it.
I’m not really sure where I’m going with this because I don’t have a conclusive answer, it’s something that’s been on my mind lately and something of an ongoing internal struggle, I wanted to get it out somewhere.
Do you have a definition of what it means to be a good person? Do you believe you are a good person? Please let me know what you think of this topic, I may write about it again.
4 thoughts on “Being a Good Person”
I noticed that most people are so preoccupied with acting and appearing to be good that they forget about being authentic.
I believe that appearances, not just physical but also the appearance of our personalities, play a big role in our lives these days. Making them look good and then maintaining them on top of that. I know that I try to appear good but my struggle with this topic is internal. I guess when it comes down to it, I have to agree without hesitation, being authentic is of much greater value.
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Thanks for your reply. I’m wondering, if your struggle is internal, where does the idea or the desire to be a good person come from? What is the purpose? Why is being bad not equally valid? 🙂
I don’t think I can say where the desire comes from. What is the purpose of anything? I know I don’t want to be a bad lerson, I’m not sure if anyone sets out to be a bad person, though there must be some otherwise there wouldn’t be any but there certainly are. I feel better about myself when I feel like I’ve been good, so I think the purpose to me is being able to live with myself and my decisions and actions.
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