“A pretty face will get old, a nice body will change, but a good person will always be a good person.” (Unknown) – seen recently on the Jack’s Winning Words blog.
Getting old is inevitable, along with the physical changes that go along with that; however, a man or women that others might describe as a beautiful human being will remain a beautiful person in the eyes of the beholder, as long as they never stop being a good person.
So, what does it take to be perceived as a “good person?” That is a simple question that is harder to answer than it might seem.
A piece on the Huffington Post had this take on it – In David Brooks’ viral New York Times piece “The Moral Bucket List,” he shares his own interpretation: “They seem deeply good. They listen well. They make you feel funny and valued … Those are the people we want to be.”
A Google search on the term good person turned up this rather long list of the traits of a good person on the Web site www.lifehack.org – 15 Simple Traits of A Truly Good Person
BY KYLE ROBBINS
- They are honest in relationships.
- They complement others when deserved.
- They call their parents regularly.
- They are polite.
- They are kind to everyone.
- They are generous with their belongings.
- They remember their manners.
- They think of others.
- They go the extra mile.
- They are kind to loved ones.
- They smile.
- They make the best out of every situation.
- They make friends easily.
- They don’t take things for granted.
- They are consistent.
Maybe you don’t have all 15 traits (few probably would, especially the one about calling your parents often); but, you can still be viewed as a good person and view yourself as a good person. Most people who think of themselves as good people attribute a large part of that to their upbringing, to their parents and teachers. Many also include the influence of coaches or scout leaders or others who had impact in their formative years. For many, their church life – their Sunday School teachers and pastors – help them become good people.
If you read down the list of the 15 traits of a good person you might note that almost all of the traits are expressed outwardly, towards others. The remaining traits work to bring inner peace in life’s situations. Another thing that you might notice is that none of these character traits are things that age will have an adverse impact upon; they aren’t physical abilities or attributes that fade with age. That’s why a good person will always be a good person.
One might ask, “Why isn’t everyone a good person?” If you look at the list again; think about how many of those traits can get pushed aside by selfishness, arrogance or pride. How many of those things can get buried under the weight of ambition or envy. How difficult it would be to be a good person, if your life is ruled by prejudices and hate. How easy is it in the rush for material success to just ignore others; rather than being polite and caring and kind? In the back of our minds most of us know what is right, but the demands of our world often overwhelm us and the temptations are often too great for us to take the time to look back there, in the back of our minds, and see what is right.
The good news is that we all have the ability to be good people. We just have to stop and let that little voice through that is trying to tell us the right things to do. For many that pause comes in times of prayer. We have a wall plaque in our kitchen that reinforces that need for quite prayer. It reads –
Make time for quite moments… for God whispers and the world is loud.
Maybe you can just ask God directly by praying, “God help me be the good person that I know that I can be.”
If you make time to hear God’s whispers; you will always be a good person and that never gets old. Now, go call your mom and see how she’s doing.