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Non sequiturs surrounding the idea of good humanhood.

March 19, 2017

It has always been my goal to be a good person. In truth, I think that's the goal of most people. Granted, I don't know your life and it certainly isn't my place to say what y'all want.

That's not what a good person does.

But, like, is it?

 

Seriously, I don't what that means.

 

What in tarnation is a good person?

 

There's something weird and nonchalant in the way we bandy about the phrase "Good person," especially in relation to another. human. being.

It's said almost like one would say "They turn their taxes in early" or "They never run out of clean underwear."

 

(Do such people exist, though? Asking for a friend.)

 

Does that tone really convey the simplicity of being a "good" human, whatever that means? 

 

Is it really as easy as having your life together and holding down at least some semblance of responsibility?

Or is it more about the care one shows for others?

 

I've been having some difficulty in my life separating what is expected of me, what is asked of me, and what I really think is the right thing to do? It's like this constant state of would you rather.

For example:

I'm not one for gossip. Sure, I'm not perfect and I am definitely guilty of speaking unkindly in the moment about somehow who has really pissed me off.

It's a quality I'm not proud of and I wish I were better at holding my tongue. 

(I really want to go off on a tangent here about letting out and letting go of toxicity and knowing when to shut your damn mouth, but that is a subject for a later date.)

But it's something I try to keep from doing.

Yet, when someone I love needs to talk out some nonsense, I'm not quite sure of my role. What's a good person to do? 

Do they listen and provide mild comment? Do they also talk a smattering of shit? Do they do a bit of both?

 

Seriously, Mother Teresa, what would you do, gurl?

 

And in that moment, it's so easy to forget all the goals you've set for yourself. It's easy to forget the mantras of gratitude and kindness you whisper to yourself as you fall asleep, stir in the cream to your coffee, and take the bath towels out of the laundry. 

 

Then, the insecurities start. 

 

Are you just a bad person?

Ok, maybe not bad but are you less good of a person than some people? If it's so important to you to be kind and generous and patient, why aren't you better at it? 

How, in the name of all that is holy, do they do it? 

Maybe their little inner head voice that tells them not to be such a tool is louder than mine. Maybe they're just better friends.

All in all, I don't know the answers. I'm gonna try like hell to figure it out though.

 

But what I do know is the people I aspire to be like generate a light and sense of warmth that covers everyone around them.

They listen.

They care.

 

They really care.

They really, really do.

 

Think back on the last couple of conversations you had.

Did you listen?

Were you interested?

 

I think that's the place to start. 

 

When I look back, I see all the things I could have done differently. I could have been wittier. I could have been more articulate. I, I , I. If I take a step back and look to the things I did for the other person, it doesn't always seem quite so bad.

 

I might not have been clever. I might not have been shining.

But I did listen.

And that's a fine place to start.

 

But just so you know, you're a good person.

You matter.

You're important.

You are enough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

best,

hannah

 

 

 P.S.

Read these pieces here and here.

They're real good.

They're written by people a gazillion times smarter than me and they're not too long.

 

 

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