What is it to be ‘good’? Does it matter why people practice kindness? My grandmother told me to be kind for religious reasons. Some people may want to make up for a misspent past, while others just want others to be happier and make the world a better place than it was yesterday.
One of my favourite musicals is Wicked. There is one song that resonates with me, bringing into focus the reasons why we may want to be generous and good. In ‘No Good Deed Goes Unpunished’, Elphaba sings a line that gives me chills: “One question haunts and hurts—too much, too much to mention. Was I really seeking good? Or just seeking attention?”
What Makes us Good People?
So what is it exactly that makes us ‘good’ people? Is it altruism, recognition or pride? Remorse? Purity? Even Mother Theresa has been criticized because her altruistic nature was thought to have been compromised by her fame. I often ponder this question when people say I’m a ‘pleaser’. That moniker seems like such a beautiful quality without the societal connotations and condemnations of self-help literature experts. No matter how many people give me the once-over or wrongly imagine me as a doormat, I genuinely feel that making people happy helps the world. And really—why is the motivation in question if you are caring for the community and helping others fly to new heights? If only goodness were twice as powerful as evil…
Unfortunately, many of us focus on the negative and not the good. Of 100 comments on an article that are amazing and positive, we tend to remember the one scathing one for many years. Of all the beautiful memories and compliments our parents gave us growing up, we remember that time we were criticized.
No more Negatives
There is hope for society and also the ‘good’ people. Many companies are honouring citizens who espouse hope and goodness—no matter what motivates them. I encourage every person to seek out companies that practice goodness. For the environment, for society and for their employees. I guarantee that the more we seek out the good, the better we feel as human beings. Lately I’ve also been seeking the nature that inspires me. And the people who make me feel incredible.
This is my goal at the moment. Just thought I’d share a bit of joy with you. xo