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Are You Generally A Good Person?


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I like to think that I am.  But I am also the product of the world I grew up in.  A world where violence was unremarkable and endemic.  A world where deceit and underhanded dealings were a way of life.  It is hard to be a good person when those factors where an influence on you growing up.  The other day I was in the subway and a young boy was trying to buy a magazine.  The magazine was 9.99 and he only had 5.00 and he was upset, I bought it for him and did not take his money, it's the little acts of kindness.  But I have have also done some night so nice things as well.  I am not trying to make excuses but I think it is in large part due to living in New York City.  I hate this place and I don't know why anyone would want to live here.  Living here is not pleasant, it does not ennoble people, it turns them into animals.  Sorry I am pontificating. 

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Most of the time I try to be, I am human and thus often fail at it. I can be snarky, petty and maybe a touch arrogant, but rarely mean. But since I am perpetually single, most of my past jobs ending in failure, getting rejected for jobs, left out of things, etc. frequently, I guess I am really not. 

 

I know it sounds whiny, but I seem to always judged negatively for one bad trait/behavior/etc. and many good ones ignored. I get: "you are good,...you are great at this and that,.... we could not do without you, .....you are the nicest fellow, BUT..... and then the boom lowers, I lose and therefore feel I am a failure.

 

So I don't know.. like I said, I try to be. 

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Everybody knows right from wrong. People usually do bad things if it will strengthen their position in life somehow, like stealing money, or betraying somebody to free yourself from a punishment. As for myself, I don't feel good or bad any more. Just indifferent, I guess. 

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  I am not trying to make excuses but I think it is in large part due to living in New York City.  I hate this place and I don't know why anyone would want to live here.  Living here is not pleasant, it does not ennoble people, it turns them into animals.  Sorry I am pontificating. 

Is the city an "open sewer where all the animals come out at night", like Travis Bickle once said? 

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I think one of the signs of a good person, is the tendency of that person to beat themselves up for not being good.

And yeah, what is a 'good' person' anyway? IMO, a good person is someone who doesn't emotionally or physically harm others just for the hell of it or (at least) without remorse. I don't think there's much more to it. If a person has a strong conscience, that's a pretty good sign they're a good person, even if they do bad things.

Narcissists (who lack a conscience) think they're the nicest, kindest, most decent human beings on the planet. And yet they're black holes of selfishness who suck the life/joy out of anyone who goes near them. Sociopaths know the bad stuff they do is bad, but don't give a d*mn.

Being a good person doesn't mean you're not going to get cr*pped on though. The more sensitive you are to other people's feelings, the more likely you are to be taken advantage of. People take advantage of good people. There's no justice in any of it.

Edited by Els1e
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im weird I do good things but never feel like a good person,like I,ll volunteer at the animal shelter in my free time then say to myself I only did it to make myself happy,im a selfish person or if I help someone I am only doing it to make my self feel better about myself.I am nice and kind to everyone but I feel like im a bad person inside,everyone I know tells me im such a nice person but I think im a jerk still.

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im weird I do good things but never feel like a good person,like I,ll volunteer at the animal shelter in my free time then say to myself I only did it to make myself happy,im a selfish person or if I help someone I am only doing it to make my self feel better about myself.I am nice and kind to everyone but I feel like im a bad person inside,everyone I know tells me im such a nice person but I think im a jerk still.

 

Its a very sort of religious thought to me. To think that the motivation for good deeds matters more than the good deeds seems unnecessarily guilt ridden.

 

Depression makes us treat ourselves worse than we would treat anyone else. You're worth your own respect.

 

Peace

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I find that I do the most good when I'm good to myself. That can include taking the time to address my own needs before those of others and speaking my mind while knowing that it may hurt the feelings of others.

 

I had being nice with being good confused for a very long time and over the past few years am beginning to separate myself from the two and feel better as a result.

 

I'm not sure where I fit on the "good meter" from an all-around, cosmic calculation of "goodness". At least I've now arrived at the conclusion that I'm not a bad person.

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This is my take on being a good person. I don't try to be a good man I just try to do the right thing everyday. It doesn't always happen and I can't always help everyone but I don't have to and frankly its not even possible. Sometimes I don't have the resources or the time and sometimes I am unwilling to set myself on fire to keep someone else warm.

 

We are all human and there is only so much we can do with what we have. We shouldn't feel obligated to give up too much of ourselves for someone else.

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There was a little girl who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead.  and when she was good she was very very good and when she was bad she was terrible.. or maybe she was awful?  cant remember exactly how this goes.  anyway it describes me fairly accurately.  On the whole I'm a good person and some who would sing my praises lol... but I've been mean and spiteful a time or two.. or three. 

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There was a little girl who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead.  and when she was good she was very very good and when she was bad she was terrible.. or maybe she was awful?  cant remember exactly how this goes.  anyway it describes me fairly accurately.  On the whole I'm a good person and some who would sing my praises lol... but I've been mean and spiteful a time or two.. or three. 

 

...and when she was bad she was 'horrid' :smile: .  I had that recited to me as a kid as nauseam. The little girl was Jemima (in the poem) & she got an empathically spanked by her mum just for standing on her head on her trundle bed & 'hooraying with her heels'. Some people's definition of 'horrid' is pretty warped.  

 

Stand on your head & hooray with your heels (whatever that means  :smile: ) at every opportunity I say  :smilingteeth: .

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  • 1 month later...

There could be a lot of definitions of what a "good person" is. 

I think the important questions are, are your actions or inactions harming people, including yourself?

Harm to the environment could also be considered.

There is so much suffering in the world already, it doesn't need to be increased.

So I wouldn't advise just giving up and saying "Well I guess that didn't work I'll just be a bad person and do whatever I want, that comes more naturally, it doesn't matter anyway". There is always a point to trying not to harm others.

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My definition of good has always been very simple. Empathy.

So I would consider a psychopath evil.

Then again, what if that psychopath made an effort to stay "moral"? Would it be unfair to think of him/her as evil? Hmm

And what about people who think they are doing good but are actually selfishly tearing down everything around them?

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Everything is before and after with me. I felt pretty good about myself as a person until I suddenly became severely depressed almost a year ago. Since then I have turned into someone I never imagined I might become, and I have let down my family, friends, co-workers, everyone...

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My definition of good has always been very simple. Empathy.

So I would consider a psychopath evil.

Then again, what if that psychopath made an effort to stay "moral"? Would it be unfair to think of him/her as evil? Hmm

 

yes... yes... i have actually seen something like this. (

i think it depends on what are their actual actions. what did they actually do in the world, and did it harm anybody.

but there might be an ongoing potential for harm in this case, if they are always having thoughts or intentions of doing that.

 

>And what about people who think they are doing good but are actually selfishly tearing down everything around them?

yeah, that would depend on their actual actions and whether it harmed anyone. I am sure there are lots of people who think they are doing good by "helping" people when their actions are actually destructive/harmful.

Edited by stardreamer
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Being a good person, being a bad person.. how do you measure that? It took me a long time to realise it's not about who I am, what I've done, or haven't done, or comparing myself to other people.. it's about accepting myself for who I am, good or bad, and trying to find my happiness and peace. When you feel good, all those ideas of being 'bad' seem to fade away..  we all need to find a way of getting to that happy place, or a stronger place, and then we can feel good, do good, be good. When I was going to a mindfullness group this year, the person running it said something like 'being caring and kind to people is a wonderful thing, but how can we fully do that if we don't know how to be kind to ourselves. Learn to be kind and loving to yourself first, and then you will be able to bring so much positive engery to everything you do, and feel happier' I don't feel like that at this point, but it really stuck with me that statement.

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I'm a good person who's really positive, with a strong conscience of what is good and bad, I won't do anything bad or hurt anyone but... I do know how to punched hard if someone cause any sort of harm to me or someone I care about deeply. So bad peoples, BEWARE or even better, just be GOOD :smilingteeth: and nobody will punched you.

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I'm a good person who's really positive, with a strong conscience of what is good and bad, I won't do anything bad or hurt anyone but... I do know how to punched hard if someone cause any sort of harm to me or someone I care about deeply. So bad peoples, BEWARE or even better, just be GOOD :smilingteeth: and nobody will punched you.

 

To be fair, I'm sure a lot of dictators said the same.  :shifty3:  

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I live by the TANJ principle: There Ain't No Justice.

 

Them what has, gets.

 

I try not to cause anyone harm but sometimes my best intentions backfire.

 

I like to help people who are less fortunate, and "give 'til it hurts".

Edited by JD4010
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I think that people have the same capacity for good as evil. As a person, we practice those preconceived notion of good and evil all the time.  Even if we are not aware of it.  Our actions can perceived as good or evil also, by the things we buy, what/how we eat, etc. Even then this is not to include others interpretations of good and evil based in gender roles sexuality, religion, etc. I think a person can become rather jaded trying to fulfill all those roles and still perceived themselves as good and that doesn't include the thankless efforts we do in services towards that idiom. Truth be told we can only do what we can.  Life can reward the selfish just as much as the good.  There isn't equivalence in this issue. 

 

I personally attempt to be good despite my own jadedness, the frustration I have in my own life has made me bitter sure and even a bit selfish,  But at very least in the back of my mind.  I say, "I will try to be good when life really merits the need for someone to do the right thing, when no one else is stepping up.  I will at least try."

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