Generally, we think of ourselves as ‘good’ right? I don’t want to think of myself as a bad person but the other day I sat back and realized, “Oh my gosh. I AM a bad person.”
It happened so suddenly. I lost my temper at work, thought something mean and it just hit me. It didn’t feel good and I felt gross and then I thought SHIT. Is this who I am now? Someone who gets extremely aggressive road rage, someone who immediately judges another human being the minute I look at them, someone who lacks compassion and grace and patience?
And the craziest part of it all was growing up, I was always the one bullied. A girl tried to set my hair on fire in seventh grade and I still wanted to be her friend. When you’re made fun of in middle school and elementary school and are in marching band in high school, you aren’t really the type of person to make fun of others. You’re too busy writing Holes fanfiction (truth) and singing showtunes (also truth) to care about being mean.
So I just always assumed I didn’t have mean bones in me. But when you’re sitting at work and you realize you’re a mean person, it really really freaks you out.
I started thinking and praying and wondering. And I guess the point is there will always be things about myself I desperately wish to change. Like my round cheeks. Can I just not have them, please, for one moment in my life? But they’ll always be there.
But my heart? My heart is dark, man. And it’s something I want to continually work on. If I recognize that innate goodness is like, not necessarily a thing, that’s good in and of itself, right?
It’s that moment of recognition. That moment of, “I’m not perfect. I’m not even really good. But I want to pursue a life of love, goodness, and helping others.”
It’s that stop-start-stop moment of “Okay. I messed up. I was mean. I thought a bad thought. But it happened and it’s gone and I am going to replace it with good.”
I think the danger comes in ignoring these thoughts, or even being complacent. The danger is in thinking I have it all figured out. I don’t and I never will.
I feel like it’s really, really easy to just grow cold/distant/bitter/sardonic about things. And I don’t want to take myself too seriously or anything too seriously, but also like….I just want to treat people with respect. I want to love my friends and family the way they deserve to be loved, and also just like, people in general.
So okay. I’m not a “good person.” But I don’t think it’s about trying to be this perfect, “good” human. It’s about living everyday and messing up and then trying to just do your best or whatever.