How Do You Measure Good or Bad People?

good,bad by nancy wombat

Have you ever ask yourself why certain people are considered good and certain are bad? What do you use to measure good or bad people? Most Laotian that I know, even my own sisters seem to think that if you are rich, successful, and educated then you are a good person, someone to look up to with admiration. Yet, we have those that take advantage of us, those selfish people are considered bad people in our eyes, even though they might be successful, well educated. Most of us don’t think twice about the average Jane or Joe, why is that so? Because they are not rich, educated, successful, and people don’t look up to them with admiration, therefore, they are not a ‘good’ person and some might not want to be associated with them. I used to think that this way of thinking is abnormal, a bit narrow minded, how can someone divided people into only 2 groups, good and bad therefore create hatred among themselves. I think the majority of people seem to think this way, therefore that’s the norm; which reflects back on my part that I might be the abnormal one that don’t think like the norm.

If you like something, you would consider it a good thing, and the right thing to do, and if you don’t like something, then it’s automatically a bad thing. If that’s the case, then there’s plenty of room to make judgment error because not everything that you like might be good, nor everything that you hate might be bad. Sometimes it’s not a good idea to let our like or dislikes to determine good or bad, and to judge people according to what we like or dislike.

Many people hate or dislike something because of fear, for instance the monk that I spoke to last week said that when he was younger, he used to be afraid of ghost, as time pass the feeling rather went away. I wonder if he ever asked himself why he used to be afraid of ghost; it’s obviously not a good quality especially when he is a monk because it’s in his line of profession. I think most people are afraid of ghost because they are afraid that ghost might come and kill them, this is something that we see in horror film all the time. Therefore, indirectly they are afraid of death, and if you ask further why afraid of death, how can you live life in the shadow of death because as long as we are living, there’s death all around us, it can happen to any of us at anytime. Some people go to the extreme that they can’t lead a normal life, not utilize their full potential therefore cut themselves short of opportunity. One of my sisters can’t drive because she is afraid of car accident, or of death. I think she only hurts herself and creates more work for people around her unnecessary, to try to explain this to her is senseless because her way of thinking is the only way, it’s the right way, talking to her is like talking to a brick wall.

I think that we can learn from good and bad things in life. I believe that it’s harder to change other people but a lot easier to change ourselves, our way of thinking. For most of us, there’s plenty of room for improvement and speaking for myself, I know that there’s plenty of room. For those that seem very successful in life and seem like a good person in society, rich, educated, people look up to him/her with great admiration, but deep down inside he/she might be full of prejudice, judge people because of status quo, I know a few that are like this and in my personal opinion, I think there’s plenty of room for improvement for these people.

Good people don’t have to be rich, educated or even be successful in today society. For those that can adjust and adapt to society and circumstances, can learn from other people mistakes or even their own mistakes, might not be as educated but I believe that one day they will be successful in life, in my opinion, these are good people. If I’m not mistaken, they might already be successful in life because success in my book is measured by your happiness.