Something I need to write about: the difference between being a good person and being the best person you can be.
These are two concepts that are very different but are so often mistaken for one another. Like two friends who could be sort of passable as sisters, but are always asked if they are sisters. Very different, but often confused. I would like to start by explaining what both concepts mean, then get into why they are swapped and which one is the more realistic goal.
Let’s start with being a good person. I personally feel that being a good person is a very unreasonable expectation of people. Hear me out, I don’t mean to say that it is OK to not be good or attempt to be good. Being a good person is a turn of phrase, being the best person you can is a statement of an action. In the turn of phrase “to be a good person” it implies a passive state of being, to be a “good person”. I honestly don’t being a ” good person ” exists. To be good is a very ambiguous term, but in many cases there is the implication of perfection or, at the very least, a lack of what one may consider as “bad”. It is a reflection of a set of values or morals that is somehow thought to be appropriate as a general way of existing. The issue with this idea is that it is impossible to make completely good decisions, it is impossible to act in a good way all the time and it is impossible to exist in a permanent state of goodness…unless you are god or an angel or something of the like. Let’s be realistic. A human is flawed, the world we live in is flawed and all the people we in counter are flawed. If this is the base state of our existence it is impossible that we are always within the bounds of the ambiguous moral values that surround the word “good”, especially in a passive context that the turn of phrase suggests.
In contrast, it is entirely possible to be the best person you can be. In this case it is the active role, you are actively participating to do the most you can do in order to achieve your highest moral compass possible within the context of your unique life. Being the best you can be allows you to make mistakes, it recognizes that there are times where no one is good or bad in a situation. It allows you the freedom to be flawed and not hold yourself to unreachable standards.
It is important to have a moral compass, make decisions that will have the best over all outcome for everyone and be the best you can be, but there is no need to let yourself feel bad for not fitting that idea of a ” good person” at every turn.
I attest to the fact that I am not a good person, but that I do my most to be the best person I can be. I am not always patient, I am not always virtuous, I am not always calm but I try my hardest to be. I am not always in the right, but neither is everyone else so I recognize those facts as best as I can. From my experience, it is those good people who forget how to be humble and hold that bar that they will never reach over the heads of everyone else around them.
So why settle with being good when you can be your best?