How do you really know if you are an honest good person? Yes you can judge how others act and compare but you never know what is truely going on in the mind of others. I am a positive person but I know that you can never make everyone happy. How do you know when your being too selfish or too selfless?
@photochick2010, With so many external influences out there suggesting how you could potentially be better or more, I can understand how it’s sometimes easy to feel like you’re not doing or being enough.
Don’t overthink it, just be true to yourself. “How do you know when youre being too selfish or too selfless?” -You’ll just know. Trust you.
@photochick2010, here’s the skinny:
There are sociopaths: These are the ones who perceive the established norm, manipulate it, abuse it, and get their own way
There are the psychopaths: They create and justify their own behaviors despite the norms and common practices
And there’s everyone else: we justify ourselves based on the ways in which we perceive both ourselves and the societal norm we see in everyone (and everything) else.
There is no such thing as normal, good-natured…but there IS a such thing as aware and considerate.
@photochick2010, I’ve struggled with this question myself. Although I believe morality is relative and has no objective basis, I definitely behave in ways I have no justification for from time to time. I show respect to anyone who shows it to me, but I do find myself often making unfair judgements about people in my mind. So, I guess the next question would be is a “good” person defined by their thoughts or their actions? Then there’s the ever-looming financial aspect – I read something by Peter Singer that forever affected how I view and use money. He made the argument that it’s immoral to spend money on anything that isn’t absolutely essential to one’s survival when so much of the world lives in poverty, struggling for life’s bare necessities. I found his argument incredibly convincing, leading me to question how “good” any of us really are when living in a society so focused on consumption. Although Singer’s perspective was certainly eye-opening, it ultimately only contributed to my skepticism towards ideas of “good” and “bad.” So, I guess what I’m saying is I don’t think it’s a question that can ever be answered entirely truthfully.
‘Good’ is a subjective thing. Your opinion of what it is may differ from mine. So why bother with what other people think? React in every situation in a way that feels right to you, regardless of how you think it may be perceived.
In my opinion, to make others happy you have to first make yourself happy. Do that by being yourself!
Your question isn’t really about being good. Your asking what are the perceptions from everybody else about your behaviours.
Get over the fear of judgement by others and live by your own standards.
Why are people so preoccupied with ‘making everybody happy’? If we made ourselves happy without overly fucking other people up the world would be a happier place all round.
Good question, I’ve pondered on good, bad, and have come to similiar conclusions, its very subjective to the individual. I decided to substitute the terms to something more initially understandable, so now, I think to myself, “Ok… is this good or bad, lets see, does it Build me or Destroy me?” Try this…. for me, it made ‘what I should do’ easy to determine and created a point of reference, ‘what does my accumulation of actions say about who I am, am I a builder or destroyer?’
as you start to see actions are all that matter, you begin to recognize the goodness/badness in others by just listening to them talk, what they focus on, what their stories say, what they hold reverent, but above all, what they do.
I have discovered most everyone, regardless of initial interaction, has good in them
@photochick2010, being a person is limiting and false, but it’s what culture dictates. Tied to the body and what it does. Those that go beyond culture are more than people, they are spirit! And spirit has no bounds! Spirit is not trying to get anywhere or please anyone – it simply is. This is the beauty of self-discovery. All judgments stop when you see that you are nothing that could possibly be perceived in the 5 senses but you are the one who knows of the 5 senses. Look within long enough, and the one looking will completely vanish, leaving only what is~
I have struggled with this issue for a long time and have come to a few conclusions that help me feel better about myself and my interactions with others.
First, if you care at all to try to be good (which I assume you do since you are posing this questions) then you are already doing more than an unfortunately large percent of people in the world so, congratulations! I think the best way to act on that is to show compassion and kindness with as little judgement as possible. In the words of my favorite philosopher Mr. Huxley, “It’s rather embarrassing to have given one’s entire life to pondering the human predicament and to find that in the end one has little more to say than, ‘Try to be a little kinder.'”
Also, remember that ‘good’, ‘bad’, ‘selfish’ and ‘selfless’ are all relative hence why all you can really do is try to be the best you can. For example, if you think consumerism is ‘bad’ be sure to remember the full repercussions of buying things (whether they be necessary for life or simply pleasureful). Many people go into the creation of the items we purchase. Not purchasing something may be ‘good’ because you aren’t supporting a corrupt system yet, it can also be ‘bad’ because you are also denying support to the people who, through their own choice or not, rely on that system to live.
Anyway, all that to say, try to love and be kind as often as possible and when you do something that seems ‘bad’ put in in perspective :)
A lot of people say their good people, but never actually take actions that justify that. Do you volunteer? Do you give to charity? Do you actively seek to make the world a better place? Do you go out of your way to help others?
Most people are neutral, they aren’t bad people or good people, but most of those neutral people will say that they’re good people. They aren’t unless they actively try to make the world a better place.
@vulpes, Please remember that not all volunteerism and charity work actually makes you a good person. Many times people do things like that to feel better about themselves and don’t help the people involved. It seems generally better to measure one’s ‘goodness’ based on their daily interactions with everyone in their life