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The Art of Being Good

“If you want that good feeling that comes from doing things for other folks then you have to pay for it in abuse and misunderstanding.” – Zora Neale Hurston

If you want to be a good person, you have to liberate yourself from the need to be seen as a good person.

Being good, as opposed to merely being seen as good, requires sacrifice. It requires the making of tough choices, the voicing of unpopular opinions, and the willingness to disrupt the comfort of those who are perfectly satisfied with the way things are.

To be good is to be a threat to anyone whose idea of good contradicts yours.

To be good is to risk being a nuisance to anyone who has to alter their lifestyle in order to adapt to the ways in which your good efforts place demands on them.

To be good is to become the enemy of those who gain lots of opportunities from the suffering of those you try to help.

Being good is good for the conscience of the person who’s good, but it’s a big headache for many others.

Being good is a blessing for the beneficiaries who get to receive that goodness, but it’s a big burden for the many people who “just don’t get it” or for the many people who have to stress out over the process of moving things around, rearranging their lives, and accommodating your agendas.

This is why it’s been said that every story’s hero is another story’s villian.

So if you’re inspired to be a good person who lives a good life and does good things, be prepared to accept your role as the antagonist, rabble rouser, or the annoying busy body in somebody else’s narrative. And don’t worry about being alone. Once you make the leap, you’ll be in the company of every single person who has ever set out to be a giver, lover, fighter, or world changer.

Being good doesn’t always look good, but it certainly feels better once you realize that the two are not the same.

At least that’s the way I see it.


T.K Coleman

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