We all do bad things from time to time, but most of us would at least like to think we’re good people.
And we try to be decent as much as possible to those around us and in what we do!
However there are some lines that a truly good person will never cross, no matter what.
Here they are.
1) Profit from someone else’s pain
Life and growth involve pain, and some struggle is inevitable in our jobs, relationships and physical and mental health.
But one of the things genuinely good people never do is profit from someone else’s pain.
Example? Big Pharma companies who intentionally hike up the price of life-saving insulin to make a dollar off the back of regular people who have no choice but to buy the drug that saves their lives.
This is slimy, and whoever authorizes that and then sleeps at night without qualms is a bad person.
2) Harm an innocent person without remorse
This ties into the next point: if you harm an innocent person and feel OK about it you are not a good person.
We all have unintentionally or thoughtlessly offended or hurt someone who didn’t deserve it at some point, including with our words.
But then we feel bad. At least I know I do.
But war criminals, serial killers and people who rape, abuse and harm others but feel nothing are not good people.
They do harm and then don’t repent of it.
If you’re basically a d*ckhead you hurt people who don’t deserve it and then feel…
3) Cheat frequently on a spouse or partner
Cheating happens even though it shouldn’t.
Usually someone gets caught cheating and chaos ensues, or they feel guilty and confess.
Relationships break up, or one or both partners try to reconcile and give it another chance.
When this crosses the line into a truly despicable person, however, is when cheating takes place often and repeatedly, including with various people.
This is especially dire when the cheater promises repeatedly to not betray his partner again.
And then goes out and cheats a couple hours later.
Not many ways to see that as anything but the behavior of a very unwell and unimpressive person.
4) Destroy the environment for monetary gain
We all have to do something to make a living, including staying at home and helping raise a family (which is the most important job of all).
But unfortunately this modern world turns on the axis of economics and monetary gain or at least monetary sufficiency.
In other words, we all need to have enough money or access to someone with enough money, to survive and thrive.
But if you work in an industry or company which harms the environment to make money, you’re a sh*tty person.
You’re destroying the planet that’s home to all of us and there’s no real way to sugarcoat that kind of behavior no matter how large the profits.
5) Hijack religion and spirituality for power and control
I believe that religion and spirituality are necessary for the formation and maintenance of a meaningful and hopeful society.
I also understand that both can be cynically misused to control and harm people, including for monetary gain and societal manipulation.
This has led to an unfortunate paradigm, where many people distrust the exact institutions that are claiming to bring them hope and answers for life.
They may also be disappointed after turning to the kind of sleazy gurus and cults who talk people into bizarre and counterproductive ways of life for gain and power.
If you use religion and spirituality to control or take advantage of others you’re a bottom-feeding sh*theel.
6) Take part in the bullying or marginalization of vulnerable people
I was bullied growing up and understand fully that many bullies have been bullied themselves.
It’s a cycle, I get that.
Bullying is often the symptom of broken families and broken communities.
But it’s also something that comes naturally to some people when they see someone who they consider vulnerable or a fun target.
Bullying has now been weaponized to refer to cultural and political issues (you have to be progressive or you’re a bully, etc.) but I’ve actually found it much closer to the opposite.
In any case, anybody who likes bullying people is a terrible person, no bones about it.
7) Push division and hatred in order to manipulate and control others
On a related note, there are many issues that divide us and get us emotional in life.
That’s inevitable, and in my opinion it’s not always a bad thing.
Healthy disagreement and diversity in the way we live can be a very positive thing.
But when you profit or gain power off intentionally polarizing groups then you are not doing what a good person would do.
It’s easy to make people believe their political or national enemies are “bad” people.
It’s a lot harder and more valuable to show them that we’re all human with much more in common than we might sometimes imagine.
8) Intentionally using fear, neglect and bullying as tools in romantic relationships
The next of the things genuinely good people never do is using negative emotions to gain the upper hand in relationships.
I’m talking about threatening a partner, neglecting them or emotionally or physically abusing them in order to keep ahold of them.
If a person threatens to kill themselves if a partner leaves, then they’re doing what a very sh*tty person would do…
If a person threatens to ruin their partner’s life if they leave this is also straight from the major a**hole playbook.
Love is a battlefield, but it still has some basic rules of war.
9) Lie to investors or customers
Honesty may seem like an increasingly rare commodity, especially with people like Bernie Madoff having made such a big splash…
Those who lie to customers or investors are knowingly and consistently presenting a false front to others just for gain.
It’s bad, and there’s no real other way to spin it.
They may have a lot of trauma in their past or anxiety over money or a million reasons for doing what they’re doing.
But it’s still really awful behavior.
10) Double-cross a friend
True friends are so hard to come by.
The least you can do with a true friend is respect them and tell the truth.
The least you can do is stand by them when times get tough or they need a hand.
That’s why one of the things genuinely good people never do is betray their friend.
Stand by your friends!
What does it mean to be a ‘good person’ anyway?
Being a good person is important.
Thinking of yourself as a good person is not important.
In fact, many of the worst people I’ve met consider themselves to be very good people.
It’s only when we can let the labels go and focus on trying to do our best that we can begin to be a better person in action instead of just in theory.