We’ve set the bar too low when it comes to defining what makes someone a good person. Hollywood and the media can make it seem as though doing good is all about people being heroic. Hopefully, should the day ever come to stop bullying or a rape from taking place, we will all do the right thing and be heroic. The people who change the world though, they change the world on days that are like any other. Supportive friends, family, and teachers encourage young people to keep playing music, keep drawing, keep writing, keep asking questions, keep solving. Good citizens better our country by adopting a needy child, donating, volunteering, and joining the service. I think too many of us think we’re good people because we have the best of intentions. We tell ourselves that we’re good people because in some unforeseen emergency we know we’d be supportive. That viewpoint is toxic. It keeps us from putting in extra effort the other 99% of the time. Great people are positive forces in others lives on a daily basis.
Any talent I have as a writer, is largely due to having come from a family that believed in me so convincingly that they didn’t stop at just good intentions. They would tell others about my writing, making me feel important. My Uncle took me to a poetry reading where you could meet the author. My Aunt wanted me to publish my poems! My teachers spent time outside of class going over my writing and encouraging me to write more. Had all these people not cared, this blog post probably wouldn’t exist. Support is what gives people the courage to wander further from the beaten track and good role-models give us the inspiration to take the risk.. I doubt that any great person in history did what they did without being inspired first.
How often do we make it a point to make a difference in another person’s life? How often do we volunteer? How much do we donate? How many of us succeed and then volunteer for big brother and big sister programs?
Media and Hollywood paint the picture that great people do good in extraordinary situations. Really though, great people do good in ordinary situations.