A common goal
in people's lives seems to be "to be a good person
," but what makes a good person?
The first requirement for being a good person is being a person. Perhaps this may sound self-evident, but I speak of being a person in the sense of being a real person. Once more, you may wonder what sort of tangent I've fallen into, but I would argue that many "people" living today do not qualify as a real person because they've fallen into some of the most egregious ails of society. It is becoming more and more common to find people completely devoid of opinion. To find people who are so fake it makes you want to scream. Real people must be honest, especially to themselves. For me, that is the first and most important requirement for being a good person.
Is being a good person about volunteering daily? Is it about making the greatest donations to charity? Is it about any of a number of things people do to try to convince others that they're a good person? No. Trying to convince someone that you are a good person is the best sign that you're not. Does a good person volunteer? Perhaps. But if so, then they volunteer because they believe in the cause and genuinely want to help. They do not volunteer because they believe it makes them a good person. The same goes for donations to charity, and any number of other qualifications that are seen to be indicative of a good person in a general sense.
Can someone who wants to be a good person become one? Yes, and no. Anyone who wants others to believe he is a good person is bound to fail. To be a good person you have to go all the way. There is no room for fakers. However, If you genuinely want to be a good person, you can become one. The key is to be true to yourself. Everything else will follow.
Above all, a good person must be whole. There can be no contradictions in his personality. This is an important part of being true to yourself, for anytime you lie to yourself, you twist your mind, and destroy a bit of the essence that is you. To be a good person you must genuinely love yourself. If you don't love yourself you cannot truly love anyone or anything.
A good person is fair. The word fair is double-sided however. Just as you are not being fair when you are too hard on a person, so too are you being unfair when you are too easy. "But wait!" you may think, upon hearing this. "Is not being too nice one way of being good?" This is a common fallacy. Although treating someone better than they deserve may be immediately useful to them, does it really help that person in the long run? That person could begin to expect more than he deserves at all times, and to demand what he has not earned. As well, because you have given of yourself to an undeserving person, you will have less to share with people who really deserve.
Only by being fair can you really be a good person. No one has ever been criticized for being too fair, but being fair does not mean aiding the less fortunate. Fairness involves equality regardless of background, not overcompensation for past wrongs.
Am I a good person? I believe so. There are few people who don't believe they are good. Am I perfect? No. No one is.