I have to admit, I'm a big fan of beachy singer-songwriter Jack Johnson. His lyrics are great, his style unique and enjoyable. There isn't anything like a little Jack to relax. I've been boppin' along to Jack for awhile now; and you know, the man has some good points. His song "Good People" begs the question: "Where'd all the good people go?" Jack's "been changin' channels... don't see them on the TV shows" and truth is, I don't know.
A lot of people spend a lot of time and money to look like good people, feel like they are good people and fail at actually being good people. What makes someone a good person? Not volunteer hours, not donations and especially not saying, "Bless your heart," at the end of every sentence. It's all about empathy. Good people care about the well being of others simply because they are people. What they can offer and how good of a person the other person is doesn't matter. It's about doing what is right because it is right. So where'd they all go?
If you haven't heard the song, check it out before moving further:
1. We're not making any.
Well, we've stopped producing them. Yes, children come into this world innocent. However, when child and care-giver are both being stubborn, we bribe them. We bribe them to read with AR points. We bribe them to eat with dessert. We basically teach them that, "What's in it for me?" precedes action.
2. People wear masks.
Social media can be great for many things, including making us feel the need to project an image. Instead of being known by a reputation that was built over a lifetime of connections and experiences, we craft the version of ourselves we want others to see.
3. If no one else knows, does it really count?
Yes! Yes it does! When on the precipice of a bad decision the thought, "Will anyone really care?" is only beaten in destructiveness by, "No one will ever know." Who cares if no one will know? I will care, Captain America will care and all the good people will care too! Character is a habit, not a pastime.
4. The bad ones can escape.
Today, there are so many people that you don't often run into random strangers more than once. Flip off the minivan on I-4! What are they going to do about it anyway? Well, excuse me, but nothing shows how terrible of a person you are like endangering people's lives for your own, and might I add selfishly and infinitesimally small, enjoyment or gain. You are a leech upon this Earth, leave the good air for the rest of us, thank you. (Just a bit of road-rage response rage.) The same thing happens in chat rooms and mulit-player video games. Anonymity is not license or excuse to treat others poorly. It is a chance to throw the real you out there without being judged by your background. Use it wisely.
Don't worry. Jack and I both know there still are good people out there. I can't speak for him, but I hope a few more will just start acting like it. Scratch that. I hope everyone starts acting like it. If we all respect each other, care about each other because we share the experience of being human, what conflict can't we solve?
(For a video of the song that inspired this article, click here.)