Friday, December 16, 2011

Naughty or Nice?

If I asked you whether or not you are a nice person, or perhaps a bad person, you would more than likely say that you are nice. Why not? According to society's standards (across the board,) a bad person is most likely someone who has killed someone, or raped, or stolen, or inflicted physical or emotional harm on another person. I would even add that a bad person is more than likely the type of person to harm an animal.

But what is a nice person? A good person? Would that be someone that pays their taxes, takes care of their children, and provides for their family? Is a good person one who never kills, steals, rapes, pillages, or covets your neighbor's cow?

I would agree that a nice person or a good person follows the golden rule - up to a point. See, it's easy to not kill, because we know we would get in trouble and spend our lives in jail, or for the more religious, in Hell. It's easy to not rape or steal or commit extortion or arson, because, well, it's illegal and there are consequences for our actions.

To be perfectly honest, all of those reasons are superficial and selfish. Yeah, I said it. The reason we don't commit horrible atrocities is because WE do not want to end up in jail, have OUR reputations tarnished, or perhaps, WE might end up in Hell.

I think those "good" actions should be seen as a given. A meeting expectations sort of thing.

But what about ACTUALLY doing something good. Something because it would make some one experience a little more ease, a little more peace, or meet some one's basic need. Not because it makes us nice, but because it is the right thing to do.

Two things came up recently that made me think of this issue. Silly little signs, but an el signo all the same. On Sunday, as I was walking from the guest bathroom, with my hair twirled inside a towel-turban, I noticed my dad was watching Sunday Morning on CBS. He never misses this show, and has been a big fan from at least the Charles Kuralt days. I caught a quick interview about Brad Paisley.

He mentions how his conservative fans sort of turned their backs on him, when he chose to talk about "change" in America and what is right and wrong, versus claiming conservative/liberal and the other stuff that jades us.

Right versus wrong.

Then I was just watching a series on Netflix called, "Drop Dead Diva." It is basically about a model who dies, goes to heaven, and finds out she never did anything bad, but she did not have any good deeds either, and ends up getting a second chance on Earth.

Both of those things happened within 24 hours of each other. I saw this as a lesson , and I felt like I should share it with you here.

You can only imagine the prayers I am sending to God. Asking why me (and yes, "Why Not ME?,) and even pondering the whole idea of Karma - did I do something so wrong, that I am paying for it now, or is this a lesson for others, and I am a pawn in some celestial game. Either way, it made me think - What have I done wrong? Did I make amends for sins?

But more importantly, did I do good?

I know so many people that simply mind their own business. I know society says that is what we should do, and I don't know if it's the journalism degree or my basic need to ponder right from wrong, but I simply do not believe we should mind our own business.

At the end of the day, I think it is a matter of how we make this world a better place. I am not saying you have to go out and join the Peace Corps or do a mission trip, I simply mean the world YOU live in. Ask yourself tonight, what does YOUR world, your social circle look like? When a friend says a racist remark, and you laugh along with every one else, yet know it is WRONG, do you just turn the other way, or do you say, "No, that's not right."

When you pass by a homeless shelter, and think, "Ah.. I need to make a donation," and mentally file it away for another day.. have you thought about taking a moment and actually going in to see what is needed?

Do you look at your God given talents and try to figure out what it is you were put on this earth for? Not just for your personal pleasure, but maybe to make the world, just a little bit nicer?

I am thinking about this a lot lately. I have talents, very specific talents, and I want to use those talents to make some type of difference, even if it's tiny.

I am all for the idea of taking care of your own, but if that is done, and all is well - have you opened your heart to the rest of the world/planet/neighborhood and asked yourself, "What else could I do?" Not because you will get recognition, but because it is simply the right thing to do.

So, even though we do the bare minimum (10 commandment style,) can we honestly call ourselves good if we don't serve others or the planet?

Just a thought.


Cozy in Texas said...

Great post - something to think about.

Kristine said...

I put you in Good Person category. :)
see at the bottom of your page where it says "feed my fishies".. My brain immediately jumped to "Feed My Sheep"..I know, silly..but that's how my mind works...but, thats what YOU do!..with food for thought nearly every day, and sharing real-life experiences that we all muddle through..Have a great wkend! and Hi! from me, to your Mom.
Kris :)

The Bipolar Diva said...

thank you Nicole. thank you.

Anonymous said...

Good post. I agree %100

Bossy Betty said...

Stopping by to say hello, Nicole! Thinking of you. Breathing deep. Let's get through the holidays.


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