I was asked the other day, “How do you think it happens that some people choose to be good and others choose to be bad?” It really caused me to do some deep thinking (weird huh, me analyzing things – haha). In the end, I said, “I don’t think people make a conscious decision to be good or bad. I think they are faced with hundreds of decisions and just do what their self image tells them.”
My thinking is that most off of us think we are “the good guys.” Even Charles Manson likely thought that his actions were the right thing to do – or at least were justified. I tend to believe that we make decisions each and every day to do “good” or “bad.” Sometimes we take the shopping cart all the way back to the return area – other times we just push it far enough away so we can drive past. It isn’t the action of leaving the cart out that suddenly labels us as a bad person, but perhaps it is a pebble in the hill of bad deeds. The same person who leaves that shopping cart blocking a parking spot may regularly save kittens from trees, volunteer at the homeless shelter, and generally be a decent person.
So what do we do? All I can tell you is what I do – try to do good as often as I think of it. When I am given an option of doing the right thing or maybe taking the easy way out – I try to do right. Sure, I don’t always succeed. Sure, I sometimes come up short. In the end though, I think my pile of good pebbles is a far cry larger than my pile of bad pebbles – and that’s a good start.