We generally like to think of ourselves as fairly good people. I mean, you never really encounter someone who wholeheartedly acknowledges themselves as a bad person.
Personally, I don't like using the terms 'good people' or 'bad people". It doesn't make sense to place human beings into one of those two categories. Good, bad... we're all one or the other at some point in time. Maybe both at the same time. I'm sure there are people in your life who would describe you as a good person. I'm sure there's at least one other person who would disagree. So do you invalidate the opposing opinion because it doesn't make you feel good about yourself?
Let's be honest. Human beings are complicated creatures, with complicated minds, and complicated emotions, and complicated motives. We're like onions, we have so many layers. We do all kinds of things in our lifetime. We might steal a pack of bubble gum from the corner store and the next day help an old woman cross the street. Does that good deed cancel out the bad one? Or vice versa? Does it depend on the abundance of good or bad you've done?
So what about this situation? A man does nothing but good, honorable, considerate deeds throughout his lifetime, such as donating his last dollar to a children's foster home. This hypothetical man then sexually assaults a hypothetical woman during a night out drinking too much. Which label would this man fit under? Is he no longer a good person? That's when it gets tricky, huh? Who's to say you're not a bad person? You? Your friend? Your mom? Should those biased viewpoints even count? What about that guy that called you an asshole on a Facebook comment thread? Is he wrong?
We look solely at the good we've done to validate ourselves to ourselves. We ignore the wrong we do because it challenges this image we have about who we are and who we want to be. But none of us are good people. None of us are bad people either. We're simply...people. And people do good things, and we do bad things. And we do things we can't explain. We make each other laugh and then make each other cry in the same breath. We hurt some people and love others. Sometimes we love and then hurt the same person. We do things that we regret. And we make a lot of mistakes throughout our lifetimes.
Because we’re complicated.