Are you a good person? Most people say they’re a good person, but… um… no, unless your definition is simply: “I’m good because I don’t steal… except music and movies… oh, and I cheat on my taxes, but who doesn’t? I also haven’t killed anyone, so I’m a good person.” If this is your definition… that sucks. Wow, you don’t steal and you haven’t killed someone; impressive… that was sarcasm. What about people who have killed someone? Does that mean they can never be a good person? What if it was an accident or in self-defence? Last week I wrote about encountering one of the worst and best people I’ve met in a long time, but what does that mean? A good person is essentially someone who does more good than bad in their day-to-day. The following is a test to help you figure out if you’re a good person; it’ll help point out where you’re successful and where you can grow. The temptation for you will be to be either too easy or too hard on yourself, so do your best to be honest. For the test make several boxes to separate the main groups of people with whom you spend your time like in the following example. This is important because you might be amazing to people at work or terrible to the people at home or vice versa. Grade yourself on a scale of 1-5 with 1 being terrible and 5 being great.
|The Question||At Home||At Work||With Friends||Other|
|1) Do you say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’?|
|2) Do you say ‘I’m sorry’…?|
1) Do you say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’?
2) Do you say ‘I’m sorry’ when you’ve made a mistake or someone is hurt?
3) Are you considerate of others? (e.g. do you hold the door for the person behind you?)
4) Do you appropriately compliment people?
5) Would those around you say you’re a happy person who smiles a lot?
6) Are people glad to have you around?
7) Do you laugh with others?
8) Do you laugh at yourself and your mistakes?
9) Do you stand up for what is right in a considerate way?
10) Do you say more positive than negative things about people when they’re not around?
11) Do you assume the best in others? (e.g. when something mean is said or there’s a problem do you assume it’s a misunderstanding or the other person had good intentions rather than just assume they’re a “bad” person?)
12) Do you consider the greater good rather than just your own needs?
13) Do you obey the law/rules? Sometimes the laws and rules are wrong and need to be fought (e.g. women’s rights), but generally, even if we think they’re silly, we need to obey them.
14) Do you talk to strangers to be nice? Saying ‘hi’ can make someone’s day. Sometimes saying ‘hi’ can save someone’s life. One of the few survivors who jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge claims if anyone had taken the time to say hi and care about him he wouldn’t have jumped.
15) Do you care about doing what you can do for the environment? Good people aren’t too lazy to put their litter in the proper container, and they do their best to reduce their waste.
16) Do you avoid being overly opinionated and listen to what others think?
17) Will you ask how someone is and actually care how they respond?
18) Do you use your time wisely and considerately? (e.g. you’ll help people when you should)
19) Are you involved in a group(s) that contributes to society?
20) Are you a good role model of healthy living and taking care of yourself?
21) Do you care about other people and how they feel as much as yourself? (i.e. caring too much or too little about others is dangerous for our emotional health.)
22) Do you act on your good intentions more than just thinking about doing them?
23) Are you generous with your money?
24) Do 0-5 people hate you for a reason that is either unfair or not true? I’ve found a lot of the nicest people end up having some of the worst enemies.
May this test inspire you to try things that will help you be a “gooder” person.
Rev. Chad David, www.ChadDavid.ca, Learning to love dumb people