on goodness

I’ve been meaning to write but then realized I was better off sleeping after everything that happened at work and at home. The thing is, good intentions are never enough unless you put them into actions. Positive actions at that. What’s the use of intending to do something when nothing actually gets done? 

I was thinking about being good the other day. Not being good at something or at work, but being good, being a good person. This, after a heated somewhat compulsive (?) argument with my father one very very early sleepless morning. I can get very cranky and extremely irritable under certain conditions: lack of sleep, hunger, and lack of clarity or actionable conversations. I was under the influence of aall three factors at the time, so, long story short, I ended up throwing a small transistor radio to the wall. Pretty violent yes, and I admit being very temperamental isn’t exactly something to be proud of. I don’t know where I got this attitude but at the very least I do acknowledge it.

So, being good. I don’t know who said it or it has been said as opposed to have been largely assumed, but being or doing good comes natural to most people. I say most people so you’d hear out the rest of this, just in case you believe that some people are naturally born evil. Actually we are all naturally born good, I think. It may not be something that we eventually sustain through the rest of our lives into adulthood, but as babies and or toddlers we are predisposition to do good.

Babies learn their way around things by mimicking people around then, their parents and guardians. That’s how they pick up what words mean and what certain actions will bring about what certain outcome. At the same time, they learn to respond to how their body works, when they are hungry or need something, their first impulse is to cry, the same thing when they feel any sort of pain or discomfort. Then if one adult picks them up or feeds them, they realize slowly that crying or making any sort of noise will produce a certin outcome (being fed or taken care of) and they learn this over and over again. Where’s the good in that? They think about what is good for themselves. The good of the self comes first.

As we grow older and expand out personal network from family to eventually, friends, lovers, other relationships, we realize that there are other people our world who may or may not have the same good intentions as yourself. You start, and are taught in school, about thinking of other people’s needs and wants (what is good for/to them) and learn to consider those things when thinking about the next step you take or action to do. What will they say when you tell them something? What will you say when they say that back to you. You start from small circles like your playmates and neighbors, then move on to the school where you are even more exposed to society as whole and nature and everyone and everything else apart from yourself. And so you act upon what is good not only for yourself but also for the good of other people. You learn to care for other members of society and eventually develop deeper relationships with other people, that as you learn more about them and what is good for them as their personalities reveal to you, you realize that you are no different from them, that what’s good for you as you see it is also the same thing that they see as good for them or feels good for them, as they see it.

Then when you all realize that your goal is the same ,that goodness you seek, you form bonds to active those goals together. Altogether. It seems like an unselfish act but in truth, all just seek the benefit that they have for themselves deep inside, up to the point that sometimes we even fell good when other people get what feels good to them.

When you trace the goodness that is there in the world, it all boils down to the basic nature of people to seek what is good for them. In a way the pursuit of goodness, what feels good, what looks good and what is good for ourselves is always the same. The real conflict only comes up with the definition of what is good or not good. I wouldn’t say bad because in the same vein, what is bad for some might be good for others and vice versa, depending on what virtues we grow up appreciating, and what experiences we would have as we go through life. It is the definition of such that brings about what is not good in others. 

I guess this is an aside that seeks to rationalize myself as a good person. I am a good person, in general. I think or at least I hope. 

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