What makes you do good? Where does this good come from? God? Are we wired as humans to instinctively do good? I personally believe that humans at their core are morally good. Like everything else, there are exceptions. Wires get crossed and chemicals become imbalanced, but for the most part, the majority of humans are good and capable of doing good things. But honestly… does it really matter where the desire to be good comes from?
Working as a therapist in the public mental health world, you get exposed to everything from mental illness to substance use. During intake assessments one of the main prompts is essentially: In your own words, what brings you here today?
For some, it’s mandated by local courts…
“Man, I fucked up. Cops busted me with a little cocaine and I just need em out of my hair.”
If that’s the reason the client wants to get better and start doing good, is it wrong?
For others, it’s a want or need to make changes or improvements in their lives.
“If I don’t make some changes and get my shit together, my kids are gonna get taken from me.”
Big or small… no matter the reason… there can be no bad reason to be good.
For many, religion is a key component of why people are good. Christianity leads its followers to believe that if you are a good person, believe in specific things, you’ll go to Heaven. On the other side of the spectrum, if you do bad things and don’t believe, you’ll go to Hell. Now I’m not a fan of fear based tactics… but not being thrown into a lake of fire and being eternally tormented is a damn(ed) good reason to be good. And if that’s your reason for being good… so be it.
What about those who don’t believe in God at all? What’s their reason for being good? Is their reason to be good less valid because they don’t believe in God or don’t follow the same religious practices or beliefs as you? No. Anyone’s reason to be good is a valid reason.
Same theory applies to those experiencing suicidal ideations. There is no wrong or insignificant reason to stay alive.
“It sounds like you’re stronger than you think you are. Tell me, how have you managed to stay alive this long?”
“It’s stupid, but I can’t stand the thought of leaving my cat behind. Every time I have a suicidal thought, I think of my cat and how lost she would be without me. How confused she’d be if I didn’t come home.”
If your cat is what’s keeping you alive… that’s a 100% valid and good reason to stay alive. That is an identified strength and can be utilized to combat distressful, suicidal thoughts. You roll with that strength and through the process, help that person identify more reasons to stay alive.
Would you even think to say “Oh, your cat? That’s a stupid reason to stay alive.”
Absolutely not. That would be absurd. So what makes us attack others’ lifestyles or beliefs if they’re still being a good human?
I have a hard time understanding how people can completely bash another’s belief or lifestyle simply on the basis that it doesn’t align with their own personal beliefs. The cool thing about this human experience is that every single individual has the opportunity and autonomy to believe in and live as they see fit. Are you being lawful? Are you causing no harm? Are you trying to be a good human? Yea? That’s great. Keep doing you boo.
Part of my duty as a therapist is to advocate for those who can’t always advocate for themselves, to help give a voice to the voiceless and to help people reach their own goals and make their own changes to help them live their best human life.
Regardless of who you are or what you’ve done, you’ll receive a baseline of support and love from me.
Black, white, purple, reptilian…
Trans, bi, gay, asexual…
It doesn’t matter. If you’re a good person, there’s about a 100% chance Ima love and support you.
The truth is… no one knows the truth. I personally don’t believe we’re built to completely understand this existence while in human form. But we can’t deny that there’s an inner presence in each of us, no matter how big or small, that pushes us to be good. I’ve found that it takes no actual skill to be compassionate and kind to one another… its not an extremely difficult task. I think the media wants us to believe the world is far worse off than it actually is… that people are rooted in evil. We’re truly not as bad as we’re made to believe. We just all need to keep our heads up and our hands out.
So whatever your reason for being good… keep it up. You’re doing great.