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Updated on September 30, 2010

You Have To Be A Good Person

What exactly constitutes a person to be a good person? I often hear people praise their parent, friend, neighbor, co-worker, and religious preacher is a good person, but based on what were they rated as a good person?

Does a good person possess specific personality?

Does a good person have a gentle and kind countenance?

Does a good person have to be a religious person?

Are religious people automatically regarded as a good person?

All of the above questions are asking how we judge a person is a good person.

Sometime we judge a person is a good person by his/her good deeds and the way he/she treats other people. We see Mother Theresa is a good person because of her selfless humanitarian ministry to the poor people in India. Many people who see Mother Theresa is a good person never know her personally. How can they be sure she is a good person? My point is can we judge a good person superficially without knowing the person. Another point is do we need to know the person very well and long enough in order to judge he or she is a good person.

Well, may be or may be not.

In democratic countries, voters elected their constituent representatives to represent them in the government. Voters seldom know the candidate by person. They only know the candidate through articles in the media, gossips, and exaggerated ads on TV and radio. Most of the time, they assume their candidate can be trusted to stand up for them. How wrong they are! How many times do we see as soon as the candidate got elected, they forgot their promises and what they were elected for by their constituent voters. Many elected officials are a liar and a hypocrite. They look like a good person but they’re a pretender dressed up as such. So how do we elect a good person to represent our right and interest in government?

May be we should examine the candidate if he/she is good person through his/her friends, co-workers, and the kind of family life he/she leads more than we examine his/her achievement and education.

And what about religious leaders?

How often do we assume religious leaders are a good person because of his/her religious stature? We see the Pope is a holy person, so we think he must be a good person. The Pope is the world leader of the Catholic Church. However, his Catholic followers include Mafia leaders, corrupted politicians, and pedophilic priests who have little contrition in their wrong doings. If the Pope is a good person representing God, he has the obligation to kick out evil and wicked men from the Catholic Church. But how often you see the Pope cleans house for the sake of God?

Furthermore, we seldom see the Pope visits the poor and homeless on the street? Instead he travels to foreign countries with his expensive entourage visiting foreign dignitaries flaunting his religious figurehead. So based on what standard did we assume the Pope is a good person? Is this an image problem? Or the public is contended with superficial holiness to accept whoever is nominated to be the Pope?

On the contrary, a Buddhist monk is more likely to be seen as a good person than the Pope and many Christian preachers wearing expensive suits and ties. Buddhist monks adopt a humble lifestyle by begging for food and shelter. They wear simple Buddhist robe and seldom drive. They walk their talk. They appear to be a modest man abstains from materialistic desires. Although they’re poor, their trustworthiness of a genuine humble person is far more believable than the Pope and many Christian preachers.

Dalai Lama is the leader of the Tibetan Buddhism. He is highly respected as a man of peace and humility. If I have to judge who is a good person, I’ll pick Dalia Lama than the Pope. Am I being deceived by image? Or a good person must act and dress humbly?

A good person cannot be judged by how rich or poor the person has or has not. If wealth is the only criteria for defining if a person is a good person, then all the poor people in the world would be classified as a bad person.

Wealth has nothing to do with defining if a person a good person. A rich person can donate large sum of money to charity but that doesn’t mean he/she possesses a good and righteous heart. His/her act of generosity is not confirmation of a person’s goodness. A mobster can donate money to charity but that doesn’t mean he/she is a good person. Goodness is not defined by monetary value.

So what exactly is a good person?

Love, kindness, and forgiveness are divine attributes of God. In the image of God, every man and woman living on Earth inherited these attributes from God. A good person must be a practitioner of love, kindness, and forgiveness without prejudice and intent for gain. Whether the person is a Christian or not it is up to the person to practice those attributes bestowed to every man and woman by God.

Remember, there is a difference between a person who believes in goodness and a person who practices goodness. Which one are you?

A person who believes in goodness but doesn’t practice goodness is a pretender. This kind of person is usually a sour grape if he/she gains nothing in return for doing something good.

A genuine good person practices what he believes. He never asks for something in return for his/her act of love, kindness, righteousness and generosity.

A genuine good person forgives and forgets his offenders swiftly. He/she is a teacher of love without the need of religious doctrine to intimidate people. He/she teaches goodness by showing kindness and forgiveness. In his/her heart goodness is an act not a thought.

Goodness can’t be forged with an impure heart. It is difficult to pretend to be a good person. Here are five traits of a forger:

1. He/she advertises his or her deed of goodness.

2. He/she shows goodness by favoritism.

3. He/she shows goodness only to his own kind.

4. He/she expects something in return.

5. He/she invokes the name of God to praise his or her good deed.

There are many people like you who choose to be a good person. I thank you for your beautiful decision to be a good person. I know the world is unfair and unkind to good people. You may ask why good people always suffer and sometime die at early age. And is it worthy to be a good person in this unjust world?

The answer is A RESOUNDING YES!

You must persist in being a good person no matter how unfair and unkind the world treated you. Good people are the ones who are sustaining the power of love and righteousness in this world. If people ceased to be a good person, our world will be a colder, darker, and evil place to live.

YOU, the good person, are preventing mankind from sliding down into the abyss of evilness. You must continue to practice goodness at all cost. Your goodness saves the world!


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    • Kenny K profile image

      Kenny K 6 years ago from Canada

      Thanks Anna for your kind words. I totally agree!

    • profile image

      Anna King 6 years ago

      Thank you for such a great article! the best way to develop your own divine attributes of God is through selfless acts of service. God wants us to be perfect, but he knows how difficult it is. If we all focused a little more on serving others, this world would be a much better place.