Are YOU a Good Person?
What makes someone a good person? Do you strive to be one?
There are many ways to define what it means to be a good person. One definition of “good” is that you follow the rules - you don’t break the law, commit crimes, lie, or cheat. Because the words ‘good’ and ‘goodness’ have long been associated with obedience.
Another, more abstract, way to define goodness is that, at the end of your days, you leave the world a better place - you have done good deeds, saved and helped lives, raised good children, been a good example, made others happy, the list is endless.
For me, goodness is expressed through lovingkindness, generosity of spirit and deed, and the thoughtful consideration of others (and myself). It can be as simple as offering to let someone ahead of you in line and as complicated as making yearslong sacrifices of your freedom because someone you love needs your help. Over the course of a lifetime, many of us do both.
I find that there are five words good people revolve around;
KINDNESS, HUMILITY, EMPATHY, POLITENESS and HONESTY.
Kindness is a major part of being a good person; kindness is truly at the center of what it means to be good. This might come effortlessly to others, or the opposite to some. It can be a combination of many things; words, action, restraint and silence.
Always be reminded that anything that can be said, can be said with kindness. Every tough position we have to take, can be taken with kindness. No exceptions.
Being a good person requires that we work towards a world where there is dignity and integrity for all human beings, all life, where everyone is honored and respected.
Something that might get lost in the midst of being a good person is humility. Being humble doesn't mean that you aren't proud of yourself and your accomplishments but the way you carry yourself and speak to and about others others.
Another detail is empathy, this has been on my mind for so long that I think we all need to revisit the word and emotion.
Empathy is “the ability to understand and share the feelings of others”. That means when someone is happy, you can share in their joy, or when someone is sad or angry, you can appreciate what they are feeling and why - even when you do not necessarily agree with them.
When everything is not about you, and you are able to show empathy, it makes you a better person. Those who show a complete lack of empathy are narcissistic and difficult people to have relationships or interact with.
Good people are polite. They show respect and mind their manners. It’s not to be a showoff or to seem better; it's about respect.
You don’t have to be formal or walk on eggshells to be polite; politeness doesn't mean you have to put on and act or dress a certain way. Being polite means being aware of and respecting the feelings of other people. We may not always notice politeness but we sure do notice rudeness or inconsiderate behavior.
The truth is, no matter where you look, people value similar traits in character.
Evidence suggests we’re all born with some innate sense of morality and fairness, which makes us sensitive to the distress of others.
No matter where you are in your life, you can make the choice to change and be good.
Do you feel like you are a good person? Why or why not? Are there ways you wish you were better? What is something you could do today to be an even better person?
When asked, many people will say that they desire to be a good person. The benefits of being good, such as having strong relationships or a positive influence on others are undeniable.
While most behavior is learned in childhood, that doesn't mean that bad behavior cannot be changed and positive behavior learned. Honesty with oneself is the first step to becoming a good person.
At the end of the day, only you can decide what kind of person you want to be. You can always build on your strengths and overcome challenges. It is truly never too late to become a good person.