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Do You Desire A Happy Life? Stop Believing There Are *Good* People

And stop thinking we're not human beings, too.

By Ellen "Jelly" McRaePublished 3 months ago 7 min read
Image created on Canva

Name the two types of people in this world and I bet we'll come up with the same answer. Good people and bad people.

And believing this concept, rooted in our society, has become problematic for most. Even if we haven't realised it.

Let's take me as an example.

I was once at war with my best friend, now ex. For two years, she's dismissed my wants and needs by refusing to listen, care or give me any of the time our friendship deserved.

I had enough. And one day I confronted her about it. She started spewing garbage about me being hard to be friends with. She made me look like the bad guy in the situation. It was a classic blame game; no responsibility for her actions.

But when I told everyone about my best friend break-up, the people in my life seemed sad. 

"What a shame," they would say, "She's such a good person."

But a "good person" did something bad to me. So does that make them a good person anymore? Or are they still good to some and not to others?

It gets confusing when you realise your perception of good and bad faces questioning.

And when that happens, when your life becomes consumed by figuring out our good versus bad, you're better off realising good people don't exist.

Even when they try, "good" people hurt others

When we think about the good people in this world, we idolise how they behave. Good people always do the right thing for others, and they always have the best of intentions no matter what they do.

But you know good people can still do bad things even with the best of intentions?

Let's take a story I saw on TikTok this morning. A woman was talking about she came out of a 30-hour labour followed by an emergency c-section to discover her mother-in-law had announced the birth on Facebook. 

The new mother was beside herself. And she was unable to move on from how rude her mother-in-law was to her.

I'm sure the mother-in-law had the best of intentions. You could argue that:

  • She was excited to share the news - She had become a grandmother, who wouldn't want to shout it from the rooftops?!
  • She thought she was helping the parents who had been through a long ordeal - As if posting on Facebook was something the new mother felt like, right?

But the mother in law still a bad thing. She:

  • Took away a moment that wasn't hers - Getting to announce the birth of your child the way you want to is the right of a parent.
  • Took away an opportunity you can't get back - She can't undo what she did. She can delete the post. The damage is done.
  • Offended her daughter-in-law by stealing the moment - This puts the relationship under strain based on what the mother-in-law in did.

This example, one so many can relate to, shows us one thing. Despite your good intentions, this doesn't mean you're doing a good thing. Or that you're a good person.

Even if when it seems right, good people make the wrong decision

When we think about what it is to be a good person, we would say good people make the right decision. They think about the consequences. They rationalise all the pros and cons. And they take action based on what's right.

In the case of the mother-in-law I mentioned, this demonstrates how a good person made the wrong decision. 

But some could argue this mother-in-law is secretly a bad person. And this is her conniving way of punishing her daughter-in-law, for whatever reason.

If we want to write that one off as a wolf dressed in sheep's clothing, there are many more instances where good people make the wrong decision.

Jump in the car and you will learn this quickly. Car accidents are often caused by zero malice or intent to harm other people. Most haven't taken to the road in the hope of causing an accident.

People run a red light because they're in a hurry. They don't want to offend whoever's waiting at the other end. But in trying to do the right thing by one person, they make the wrong decision with other people. They run the red light, hitting an innocent bystander in the process.

It's a good person making a bad decision.

When it comes down to it, all decisions are a fifty-fifty gamble. We either get them right or get them wrong. 

And despite everything we do to make sure we make the right decision, it doesn't take much to tip the scales in either direction.

Good people don't always side with good people

And when we're assigning people good and bad labels, we often do so by association. We look at who these people hang out with, who they support, and whose side they take in an argument, and we judge them for it.

There are people who defend politicians doing wrong by the law or by the people they represent. There are families who support their loved ones whilst on trial for murder, rape, or other serious crimes. 

We support businesses that have committed unethical crimes against millions of innocent people. 

Hands up who has something of Nike in their wardrobe, despite substantial claims they use sweatshops?

You wouldn't say wearing Nike makes you a bad person, right? But this is a complex matter of opinion. 

It's so easy to feel like you're a good person but do the wrong thing by siding with the "bad person".

And these "good" people do bad things, as "bad" people do

We get it; good people can do bad things even though they meant the best. Same when they support people who are bad. They can make the right decision that turns out to be the wrong decision. 

It happens, right? 

Unintentional pain we can forgive.

But these good people are human and they can do bad things. They can do the wrong thing, on purpose, with all foresight of the consequences. They act the way a textbook bad person would act.

Here's where we trip ourselves up. We often think good people are incapable of doing something bad. You know, "they don't have a bad bone in their body." But this is a fallacy that's hurting us by believing.

It's irrational to believe and assume that good people don't do bad things. Or that they're incapable of bad thoughts and mean intentions.

They aren't superheroes or characters from fairy tales. For as long as they have conscious thought over their actions, everyone can do the wrong thing. That's what being human is all about.

Do you know what "good" really is?

Here's come the biggest issue with believing in good and bad, and subsequently destroying your happiness. "Good" is all a matter of opinion.

How do you define a good person?

I'm sure what you would define as good might not match exactly my definition. We might have some overlapping features.

But I doubt we could come to an absolute consensus on every aspect of what makes someone good.

The problem is that everyone has different values, which changes our belief in good and bad. And when someone's actions match our values and beliefs, that means they're good in our eyes. If their action goes against our values, we label them as bad.

But their goodness and badness is a value judgment made by society. It isn't a measurable quality. You can't run a blood test and it comes out green for good or red for bad.

If we can't all agree on the definition, and live by this definition, we have to come to the realisation good and bad don't really exist.

Here's how to live a good life; believe there are people

You can see how deciphering between who's good and bad can give you a headache. It's also evident you might not get it right despite all your trying.

You're making yourself miserable trying to figure out whose good and bad, who to love and who to avoid, and how to put up with the good and bad in everyday life.

If you ask me, do yourself a favour and stop buying into this good and bad concept.

Because are no good people. And there are also no bad people. We simply have people.

And as soon as we realise everyone can be bad and good, we will live happier. We will stop idolising the idea of becoming a good person when we're already doing a pretty good job of being human.

And perhaps we will be a little kinder to ourselves when we do something bad.

It's possible we will accept everyone is human, and that finally be ok too.


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About the Creator

Ellen "Jelly" McRae

I’m here to use my wins and losses in #relationships as your cautionary tale | Writes 1LD; Cautionary tale #romance fiction |

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  • suman mohan3 months ago

    Very nice! It is really true.i like the lines ..."No good people ..and there are also no bad people".

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