I think about this every day. What makes someone a good person? Is it the person’s intentions? Their thoughts? Their actions?
I have always appreciated a person more over what they do than what they say. In fact I rarely believe someone until I see what they say become a reality. It’s the worst thing in the world – to not take someone for their word. It’s become quite a cycle; even if the person has never created any expectations previously I still most likely would not believe them until what they say actually takes place. I think cynicism and life has had this effect on me and the question is would I want to change it? The worst feeling is when someone tells you something and you both know it will not happen or it’s just said to make the situation better or to make people feel better. So in this instance does the intention make the person a good one? Does the lie in itself make them a bad person? Or is there even something such as a bad person? Can we truly understand what drives a person to do what they do when we haven’t walked “in their shoes” so to speak?
Generally it’s so quick for us to judge people based on their words and actions and then label them. This is human so I am really talking about this particular label of “bad” and “good.” I have learnt through several different experiences from others and including my own that sometimes it takes a person several times to learn from a mistake. Once, twice, even by the fifteenth time the lesson still needs to be learnt. It may even take a lifetime and still nothing. So does this make someone a bad person? What if they are constantly trying to learn or their intentions are “in the right place?” But what if no one knows this? What if people judge according to what they see being done and not the thinking process of the person?
Is this what happens when we do not get to know people and we quickly judge them anyway? And even worse we judge them based on the actions we see – which at the end of the day is only one detail in a much larger story. So maybe waiting for people to stay true to their word is not the right approach. Maybe waiting to judge someone on their actions is not correct either. Maybe it’s about understanding the person before anything else. So let’s look at a specific scenario: If someone lies to you because they want you to believe something that they believe and the only way to convince you is by lying does that make them a bad person? What about trying to understand why there is the need to lie? In this particular situation what would the need be? Is it the fear that you may not have faith in their ability or maybe it’s because the person lying needs to believe the lie themselves and it is actually not about you at all. In fact it speaks more about that person’s own self-esteem than it does about your gullibility.
There has been many times when someone has lied to me and I do not believe it but I do not question them. So in essence that means that I am setting them and myself up. If I do not question the lie it means I am not interested in the person’s thinking. I already do not believe their word which then means that I will not believe that they have any good intentions even if the word results in a particular action.
So who really is at fault here? And who really is a good person?