When we think of being a "good person", we tend to imagine that everyone holds about the same picture
of what that means in their
But the truth is, every one of us holds a
unique mental image
of what being a "good person" looks and sounds like.
Most of us do share a few basic opinions and expectations about it.
But if every person were to write their own list, in order, of all the things that make a
without peeking at the lists of others,
every person would have written down a unique list of
traits, behaviors, and beliefs.
Certainly many things on those lists might be the same,
but that's not the same thing as being
So... who's list would be the right list?
The minister at the Baptist Church,
or the priest at the Catholic Church,
or the pastor at the Lutheran Church?
Do we really believe that our own list,
(or any other human's),
would be the same as God's?
Or even that our list would be identical
to someone else's,
living or dead,
human or not,
whom we admire or look up to?
What about the Tibetan monks who live in the next town, is one of theirs the right list?
How about the person with the most sobriety time at the local AA? They're a good candidate.
What about the first grade teacher down the street, or the baseball coach on the other block?
How about the cleaning staff at the local hospital?
What about the nurses there?
How about the President of the US?
The Prime Minister of another country?
If everyone's list is unique,
(when they don't peek at the lists of others),
(and they would be),
then which person gets the "BEST GOOD PERSON" Award?
Are we still in the running for the award if we resent other people, envy them, or judge them critically?
Perhaps, there is a lesson there for each of us.
And what lesson would that be?
It would be for each of us to figure out for ourselves.