What does it mean to be a good person?
I’ve been teaching Christian Living Education for a good 3 months now and I found myself asking this question again. I thought that after I’ve taken my Philosophy of Ethics class back in college, I was good to go; I knew what it being a good person. But, as I started working in the real world and meeting more people, I found my previous understanding of being a good person not as bullet proof as I thought.
I used to think that if I followed a set of rules, I was becoming a good person. I mean, rules are created to serve and protect people. Thus it made sense to follow them because eventually they will make me a better as well. But the more I stayed loyal to the rules or procedures, the more it became burdensome to me. I started asking myself, “How do I respond to you, who needs my help, if the rules forbid me to?” In a sense, I thought that being mabait or being conscientious was the path to being a good man. But somehow, that overly generous response doesn’t seem to be real for me.
Maybe being a good person is not just about being a mabait or being conscientious, but maybe it’s about being mabuti or acting more appropriately to respond to a specific situation. Maybe there are times when its better to be the “bad” person because there’s just no getting through some people.
If only life had manual. Or maybe, life is a manual that’s always being written down.