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.