What Makes A Person Good Or Bad?

What Makes A Person Good Or Bad?

Good or bad, who decides your label?

Person A: Every week he cheats on his wife. He has stolen over $500 from his friends and family over a span of eight years. As a kid, he was a bully, and as an adult, he isn't much better.

Person B: A neurosurgeon who has saved hundreds of lives over the course of eight years. He has a wife who says he is a great man and even though he works long hours, he gives her all the attention she needs. He has never missed a dance recital or baseball game for either of his two children.

Which person would you define as good? Bad?

What if I told you they were the same person?

Growing up we had specific connotations of the words bad and good. Cheating on a test and lying is bad and thus makes you a bad person. Sharing your toys and saying please and thank you is good, making you the latter. As we grow up we find out that this very clear line that has been drawn is actually quite blurry with many gray areas. If I lie to my boss does that make me a bad person? If I don't want to give someone money to borrow does that make me a bad person?

So how do we determine who is good and who is bad? Who is right and wrong and who deserves the benefit of the doubt? Do we judge them for their past if they have stolen and been deceitful? Or do we forget about the kind of person they were? The once simple way of thinking changes as we grow up and it becomes more difficult to decide what character traits we are supposed to look at in a person.

Back to the first question; I bet you probably answered that Person A was the bad person and B was the opposite. However, if they were the same person would you think otherwise? Would you decide that the bad outweighs the good or does the good outweigh the bad?

In society we have decided that every person has to fall into one of these two categories, and more often than not we decide that their bad qualities are the defining attributes of their character. It is very easy for us to decide that once a good person does something we see as dishonest or wrong that they are no longer a good person. Yet, it is so hard for us to decide that when a person who has at one time done a bad thing but is showing they have a good heart that they have a positive character and good morals. If every person was defined by their poor choices in life, we would all be seen as monsters.

So what is the answer to what makes a person bad or good?

I truly believe that every person has both good and bad inside of them. I believe that even though a person may do something wrong and lead a life that is dishonest, they are still capable of doing good things. People are not born evil, they are not born with the idea of hate, but instead born to do great things and life can sometimes get in the way. In the world we are living in with so many horrible things going on every day in the news we have to remember that it is up to us to keep our character and morals strong.There is good and bad inside of everyone and we have to make sure that we choose the right path every chance we get. Even if you make mistakes along the way, always know that those mistakes do not define you or your character.

Cover Image Credit: www.pinterest.com

Popular Right Now

Please, If You're Somehow Still Using The 'R Word'— Leave That Habit In 2018

Come on guys, its 2018. Google a new word.


Maybe it was because I witnessed two boys get in trouble in elementary school for using this word as an insult.

Maybe it's because I fell in love with a thing called Camp Able. Maybe it's because one of my best friends is a special ed major. Or maybe it's because I try to be a decent human being. I do not use the R word.

Until this past semester, I hadn't really heard anyone use it often despite one encounter in 6th grade. Most of my best friends I have met while serving at places like Camp Able or Camp Bratton Green where summers are dedicated to people with diverse-abilities. I think having been surrounded with like-minded people for so long made me forget that some people still use it as an expression.

Let me tell you, it's annoying.

The word itself has been brushed off even in a "scientific" sense. It means to be slowed down, but it has stretched far beyond that meaning and has turned into an insult.

It's an insult of comparison.

Like any word, the power behind it is given by the user and most times, the user uses it to demean another person. It's like when you hear someone say "that's gay."

Like, what? Why is that term being used in a derogatory sense?

Why is someone's sexuality an insult? Hearing someone use the R-word physically makes me cringe and tense up. It makes me wonder what truly goes on in someone's mind. People will argue back that it's "just a word" and to "chill out," but if it was just a word, why not use something else?

There is a whole world full of vocabulary waiting to be used and you're using something that offends a whole community. Just because you don't care, it does not mean it shouldn't matter. Just use a different word and avoid hurting a person's feeling, it really is just that simple.

There is not a good enough reason to use it.

I volunteer at two summer camps: Camp Bratton Green and Camp Able. If you know me, I talk nonstop about the two. More realistically, if you know me, it's probably because I met you through one of the two. Even before I was introduced to the love at Camp Able, I still knew that this was a word not to use and it never crossed my mind to think of it.

The history behind the R-word goes back to describe people with disabilities but because of the quick slang pick up it was sort of demoted from the psychology world. Comparing someone or something that is negative to a word that you could easily avoid speaks volumes about who you are as a person.

The word is a word, but it is subjective in its meaning and in its background.

Just stop using it.

A List of Objective Words/Phrases to Use:









"A few beads short on the rosary"

"On crack or something"

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Gillette's Toxic Masculinity Commercial Is Exactly What America Needs Right Now

It's starting a discussion on a higher level.


If you haven't seen the new Gillette commercial, it is a discussion and commentary on toxic masculinity from the #MeToo movement. The commercial, titled "We Believe: The Best Men Can Be," discusses controversial topics like bullying, sexual harassment and toxic masculinity.

We Believe: The Best Men Can Be | Gillette (Short Film) YouTube

Many may think that this commercial will be bad for Gillette's "brand" per se. The commercial comes in a controversial time with a controversial discussion. Although, it doesn't seem like Gillette cares. Gillette's North American brand director, Pankaj Bhalla, said, "We expected debate. Actually, a discussion is necessary. If we don't discuss and don't talk about it, I don't think real change will happen."

Gillette wanted today's grown men to become role models for younger males. Gillette wants to start the discussion and stray away from the toxic statement "boys will be boys."

Why is this commercial so important to America right now? Well, frankly it's because we need change. We're at a time where many subjects like the #MeToo movement are happening, but not much is being done. This Gillette commercial will air on televisions across the nation and hopefully spark a change in men around the world.

The commercial sheds light on toxic masculinity, bullying and sexual assault. Hopefully, it will do more than teach young men not to indulge in these behaviors by also encouraging fully grown men to teach younger men not to engage in these unhealthy habits.

America needs this commercial because it will hopefully be a lead for change. It was similar to what we saw in this country with the Black Lives Matter movement. After the publicity of the movement skyrocketed, we saw more representation of black people in movies, news and just about everywhere. Maybe this Gillette commercial will be able to spark the same amount of revolution around the topic of #MeToo and toxic masculinity.

Hopefully, this commercial starts a discussion about avoiding behaviors that create toxic men. Hopefully, it teaches young boys that it's OK to stand up to bullying, it's OK to cry, it's OK not to be the poster boy of masculinity that society expects. That's what America needs to fix the problems that it is facing.


Related Content

Facebook Comments