Free Essay

Good

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By anandvardhan
Words 1372
Pages 6
Define what "good" means to you. Being good does not mean only by outer goodness . You have to consider being good straight from the heart i.e purely . Ultimately, you have to decide on your own code of ethics, and what matters is that you follow through with what you believe makes you a good person. At times, this may conflict with what others believe is good, and they might even accuse you of being wrong or evil. Consider their views-either they know something you don't, in which case you may learn something from them and update your morality, or perhaps their experience is limited, meaning that you should take their views with a grain of salt.
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2Be good for its own sake. Don't try to be a good person because your parents told you to, because you want recognition or respect, or for any kind of reward except your own satisfaction in doing what you believe is good. Never act superior to anyone else or brag about your "goodness" or "righteousness". Your dedication to a particular creed, ideology, or set of guidelines does not make you better than anyone else. Do what you believe makes you a good person on your own terms, and remember that it's an individual journey-everyone's path is unique. Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame.[1]
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3Be proactive. It's tempting to infer that as long as you avoid doing the things you know are bad (stealing, badmouthing, lying, intentionally saying hurtful things, etc.), then that means you are really good person, but there's more to it than that. By avoiding bad behavior, you've made a big step towards becoming a good person, but you've only just begun. In order to be good, you actually have to do good things rather than just avoid doing bad things.
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4Consider the results. Have you ever heard the saying that "the road to hell is paved with good intentions"? It's not enough to want to do good, and to try to do good-you must also think about whether your actions actually had good results. Not every attempt to do good will end with good results, so when things don't work out, be willing to reconsider your actions and change them accordingly. Never let your sense of duty, loyalty, or obligation get in the way of doing what's right.[2] For example, many parents feel that it's good to help their children in every way possible, but there are times when children need to learn lessons on their own and face challenges in order to achieve or to avoid mistakes in the future. A child who has been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving needs to bear the responsibility of his or her actions. If the parent bails the child out, then helps the child avoid consequences, s/he will only learn that the parent will be there to help even if s/he does wrong. The intention is good (wanting to help the child succeed), but the action might not be (removing all obstacles from their path).
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5Consider the greater good. What might seem like a good idea in your situation might not have a very good impact on a broader scale (in the example above, the child won't have experienced punishment for the DUI and might go and violate the law again, this time possibly hurting or killing someone else). People often do right things for the wrong reasons, and wrong things for the right reasons. If you're playing a game with your team, for instance, it might seem good to try and score as many goals as you can to bring your team to victory. But look at the big picture. How will your teammates feel if you score all the points instead of helping set them up to score at times, never allowing them to get a shot in? How will that kind of victory affect the team spirit? Would you still feel good if your team won, but your teammates felt that it was an individual effort and they weren't involved? Consider the long-term impact of your decisions and what they might mean for others.
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6Be balanced. In the struggle to be good, it's easy to swing from one extreme to another. However, any form of extremism can lead to closed-mindedness, a quality that can be found behind what most people can agree are bad deeds. In Buddhism, there's a term for avoiding extremism: "the Middle Way". Whenever you find yourself leaning towards an extreme, try to find the Middle Way before you act. This isn't going to be easy, but if being good was easy, wouldn't every good-hearted person be good? Here are some dilemmas you may encounter:
It's good to be humble and kind, but is it not good to be so humble and kind that you let people walk all over you to the extent that it damages your physical and emotional health, or lessens your ability to care for, spend time with, and provide for your family?
It's good to be responsible (pay your bills on time, plan for retirement, save up for your kids to go to college), but is it good to be this way to the point that you hoard away hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets and wealth for your own family's financial security without ever giving someone else (who wasn't fortunate enough to be born into your family) a helping hand?
It's good to be positive, but is it good to be so positive that you ignore risks and brush mistakes under the rug, never learning from bad decisions because you're always "positive" that it'll work out the next time around?
It's good to be honest, but is it good to be so honest that you hurt people's feelings unnecessarily, violate someone's privacy or prevent someone from finding answers that they might need to find for themselves?
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7Give people the benefit of the doubt. To the extent that it doesn't jeopardize your safety (like getting in the car with a group of people you just met), assume each person you meet is a good person, and act likewise. If you see someone do something that you think bad, consider what they are dealing with in the context of their own life-don't jump to conclusions. Try to discover what motivated their bad act, and if appropriate, show them how it was hurtful by using nonviolent communication. Many times, helping someone else become a good person in a gentle, open-minded and unimposing way can help you learn and become a better person yourself.
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8Learn. Constantly improve your understanding of what goodness means. Observe subtle or complex situations and consider how you would act in such a position. You can also learn from your own mistakes, from others, and from history.
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9Find a guide. Seek out someone who you can talk to about these important things. Relationships are very important in life, and such a relationship can be invaluable in your journey of becoming a better person and doing good things.
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10Be a guide to others. Sometimes, you can learn best by teaching. Make yourself available to help other people and foster a genuine desire to see them thrive. Believe in the power of your actions to influence others. When other people see you doing good deeds, they will be reminded to take more positive action themselves. Nurturing someone else and striving to be an example can help you see your own acts more clearly.
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11Delight in goodness. Instead of focusing on the bad things happening around you, find reasons to dwell on the good. Notice small kindnesses that you find yourself or other people doing, and constantly remind yourself of the things for which you're grateful. Feeling like you are surrounded by good acts and nice people will inspire you to do more good yourself.

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