Being a good citizen can be as simple as being a good person. In the United States, where I live, being a good person is becoming a lost art. Political arenas on social media, news websites, and the like are saturated with people that have lost the ability to be decent people.
What can we do about it? Can we be better people, and can we understand the value of being a better person in our society?
Why should I care?
Do you know of someone with a bad reputation? Have you ever heard one of your friends say: “Stay away from them; they are toxic.” If you have, you know that people will avoid this person. The quality connections these people have will be limited and will likely only be through family ties. Having a bad reputation will limit your ability to succeed in your pursuits and diminish your happiness.
Being on the Internet is much like being on a busy freeway. People tend to be more aggressive and rude than when you’re sitting across the table from them. Unfortunately, this is the case, but being a decent person on the Internet will also improve your reputation. If there is a job, a free offer, or another beneficial opportunity available, people will be more likely to come to you if you have a great reputation.
Simply put, the outcome of being a good person is always better. If you steal something, you will gain the use of what you have stolen, but you will never feel good about it if you feel anything at all.
I’m on your side here
Learning empathy is the clearest path to being a good person.
“Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?”
It’s best to avoid attacking anyone, but consider your target’s point of view if you’re going to do it. If you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, you will truly understand them. Seeking to understand why someone is rubbing you the wrong way will go a long way and help you use empathy to be a good person.
I cannot tell a lie
Contrary to the belief of many politicians lying is not good. Lying can help people get ahead, but it’s much more likely to send you to the back of the line. Good people will not tolerate lying, and you will likely end relationships by lying to your friends or family.
Ending a relationship with someone can end up being the worst thing that ever happened to you. Having a great relationship with someone can change your life for the better and lift you to heights you never imagined. The risk of being caught in a lie is never worth taking.
People of strong moral character will avoid you if you have a bad reputation. Again, you will lose access to the benefits of relationships with good people; it’s not worth the risk.
Wait, let me help with that!
Taking responsibility is an essential part of being a good person. If you are Response Able, you can respond to the world around you in positive ways. If you say what you mean and mean what you say, it will improve your reputation. Having a great reputation will lead to new opportunities and greater happiness.
Responding to the needs of other people is a great way to show how much you care. Being able to respond to adversity by taking care of yourself by taking care of others is a virtuous cycle.
I’m not worthy
Humility has become an uncommon trait in a society obsessed with the self. It takes discipline to do what needs to be done, to the best of your ability, and then deny yourself credit for being responsible. It’s also a great way to exemplify humility.
All are created equal
Showing your bias for a friend, colleague, or family member may seem harmless, but it creates resentment. People in your life will come to believe that they are less than others. While people in your life can avoid going down the path of jealousy, why open up a path in the first place? What good does it do to treat someone better than everyone else? Conversely, how does treating someone worse than others help your reputation? It’s not worth risking your reputation by showing your bias by treating people differently.
It takes a lot of energy to treat people differently. When you interact with someone, your decisions take energy; if you always behave the same with everyone, you won’t need to make decisions. It’s a win-win situation to treat everyone equally with respect and empathy.
Make it happen
If you’re unhappy, do something about it. It is your responsibility to make yourself happy. If, as a citizen, you do not like how things are going in your city, county, state, or country, it is up to you to change it. It is your responsibility to contact your representatives and tell them how you feel. It is up to you to be the change you want to see. Being proactive by improving your existence will always end up with a better outcome than doing nothing.
I’m not in the military
I never joined the military, but I did consider entering the air force once upon a time. Luckily, I didn’t need to join the military to understand the value of discipline. Being disciplined is a great way to be a good person. Keeping your priorities clear and communicating them with people around you will help you keep your commitments. It will help you be an honorable person that keeps your word, and it will help you stay healthy and happy.
Applying discipline is hard work, but applying no discipline is even harder. Lacking the discipline to show up on time, keep your word, and do the right thing will create unintended consequences. You may lose your job, friendships, and will lose opportunities. Employ discipline in your life to save energy and improve your reputation with others.
The moral decay of the electorate in the United States is on full display. COVID-19 has shown us that many people are not good. If you know someone that needs to learn how to be good, please share this with them. Until we can teach people why it is important to be a good person we will continue to suffer. Suffering is a common state of humanity, but we can make the world better for everyone by being good.
Assuming you aren’t happy with politics, as usual, join us while we save the republic with facts, reason, and science. It is our duty, as citizens, to stand up for what we believe in. It is up to us to change the conversation and make America good again.