Good people and bad people

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Re: Good people and bad people

Postby Sabina » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:04 pm

Were we trying to redefine it? I thought we were rather compiling something like the "best of" list.. what we consider to be the most important characteristics of a good person.

Your mention of Hitler, in combination with the topic (good people vs. bad people) reminded me of a movie... The Last Supper
=0/

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Re: Good people and bad people

Postby Pat » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:30 pm

Sabina wrote:Dear Pat, that's a nice thought, and I am sure that most people can do both, but would you say that most people do? Just because someone is physically and/or mentally capable of doing something doesn't necessarily mean they will do it. As an example, someone who is consumed by greed and the idea of personal gain might be capable of doing good things, they might occasionally even do such things, but that's not what their life is about - by their own choice.
Do you think we choose to be a certain way or are we just born that way?
If it's a choice, then where does that choice come from?
And if we are born that way, then could it be that the choices we make are directly connected to the maturity of our soul or spirit?

Sabina

Dear Sabina Yes those who are consumed with greed and hate willl probably rarely do the right thing but choices can help change a person.
Peopel are just people we sometimes make the right choice and sometimes make the wrong choice and it is the choices that make us we live by the consequences of these choices.
I do agree that the choice we make are connected to the maturity of our soul.
I guesss my feeling is that if we label people good and bad then we respond to them that way and that is not allowing things to be what they can be...
:)
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Re: Good people and bad people

Postby Sabina » Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:40 am

Pat wrote:I guess my feeling is that if we label people good and bad then we respond to them that way and that is not allowing things to be what they can be...

Just because we label them good or bad doesn't necessarily have to mean that we will respond to them "that way" though, right?
I know what you mean, and I understand that for most people it is easy to judge not only an action as bad, but the person as a whole as well, and as a result give up on them all together. But, it doesn't have to be that way.
We can judge an action as bad, we can even judge a person as bad, and still decide to not just label them and throw them into the "appropriate" drawer. You know.. the drawer for unsolvable cases.

Just because I dare call something good or bad shouldn't lead anyone to believe that my reaction to the good and to the bad is predictable.
Because it is not.
:)

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Re: Good people and bad people

Postby mirjana » Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:08 pm

Pat wrote:...
I guess my feeling is that if we label people good and bad then we respond to them that way and that is not allowing things to be what they can be...


Pat, I love these words, so much true. Even if we separate labeling the act from labeling the person, still labeling acts allow the possibility to slip into thinking about the person as the character manifestation of the act. And I do believe that different circumstances can provoke surprising changes, surprising for the person self and for those around.
Not a bad example is Sawyer from Lost. The development of his character from that one who he seemed to be according to his acting to the one his true being is, was amazing. I like to see life and people with such glasses.

Sabina, I understand your words. You can be happy and proud if your life experience so far has shown to you that you can not always separate an act of the person from how you see the person as a whole, especially if certain acts have a tendency to repeat.Being much older, I can not say that for myself and therefore I stand for the given hand in order to help a person change. I think that repetitions in pattern of behaviour, when not seeing as positive, point even more the causality in the past life of that person and therefore point the possibility that new life pattern can provoke new way, opposite to the previous one.
If the person has been exposed to the certain theories, treatments, influences etc. for a certain period of time, and then acted in accordance with these, finding him/her in another circumstances and exposed to the opposite, but positive and loving endeavour, and within a given time, which should be also manifestation of love, compassion and understanding, then, I am sure, the person can change. Charles Dickens was very good in showing these possibilities.


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Re: Good people and bad people

Postby Kris » Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:52 pm

Interesting topic.

Very good discussion.

I ask another question. Is the good or bad in a person defined by what they DO or in what they DON’T DO?

Is a person ‘good’ because they don’t “cuss spit and chew or date the girls who do” (he he). Or is a person good because of what they do; love, care, are charitable and so on?

When rehabilitating a criminal, should they be taught “Do not steal” I think the law already makes that clear yet it doesn’t stop crime. Instead, isn’t a criminal rehabilitated when they are taught to respect their fellow human being? Maybe even love them? When they are taught what TO DO, rather than what NOT TO DO?

I ask this because in the area I live, there tends to be a heavy fundamental mentality. People apply so many rules to their religion and mistakenly think they are “good” because the follow ridiculous rules to the law.

Not long ago my husband and I interviewed with several parochial and private schools for our children. One was especially disturbing. The administrator showed us the library. Instead of selling us on the wealth of literature available to the students, she told us how many books were banned. We were told that only strong Christian families of the utmost moral character were selected.

Much, if not all the emphasis was put on what they did NOT allow in this school; Harry Potter, evolution and short skirts. All this was their attempt at selling us on how good the school was and how well they would train our children to be GOOD…..It was all about what these kids in this school DID NOT do.

We walked away wondering why they didn’t mention once what they taught these children TO DO. How were they teaching these children to be compassionate toward their fellow human beings? Were they teaching them honesty and tolerance and fairness? We saw little evidence of any of the moral character we hold to be important.

Jesus spoke often that the law (rules) were given to humankind because of the “hardness of their hearts”. The whole LAW is summed up in one commandment “Love your neighbor”. It is a simple truth but rarely understood or practiced.

K
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Re: Good people and bad people

Postby mirjana » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:54 pm

I love your contemplation Kris. And I agree. I also think that teaching how to do something good is not only more important than teaching what not to do, but it helps that other ideas, those which would belong to prohibited, appear much less. Where we put our energy, we make that kind of energy to grow.
In Sweden they have such a good dental prevention that they almost do not need dental treatments.
Mother Theresa used to say, I shall not protest against war, but for peace.
It would be good to remember more examples of that kind and from our lives too.


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Re: Good people and bad people

Postby Pat » Sat Jan 09, 2010 5:18 am

mirjana wrote:
Pat wrote:Aristotle thought with a western mind, a mind of dualities.I feel uncomfortable with the good people and bad people idea. It has been my experience that most people can do things that would put them in both categories. Just a thought.



Hi Pat,

Yes you are right about dualities, as we live in the world of duality. How I understand good or bad is in the sense of what is the dominant life path in this world of duality.We all know this symbol [Pd] . There is a little black dot in white, but the dominant is white. And there is a little white dot in black, but dominant is black. In order to be in the golden middle where everything is perfectly balanced, or to have a white circle, we have to pass a long path. That is what, in my opinion, final goal is.
As long as we recognize our black dots we are able to work on changing them. As long a white dot is recognized by others, there is a possibility for the person to change. This mutual exchange is therefore so essential, so that no one can be lost in the isolated world of good, or bad.
In this world of duality, good is never so good that there are no dots to be improved, or bad is never so bad that those white dots can not become bigger until changing the color.

Mirjana


Mirjana


I like this Mirjana it feels much better to me than simply black and white, good or bad ..
Someday soon I will put on here my personal story of how i made a choice to not help because of fear.
Pat
:)
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Re: Good people and bad people

Postby mirjana » Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:09 pm

Hi Pat,

Looking forward to this story. Fear is one of the most burdening traces we have that enables us to explore the whole divinity we have within us.

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Re: Good people and bad people

Postby Pat » Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:14 am

mirjana wrote:Hi Pat,

Looking forward to this story. Fear is one of the most burdening traces we have that enables us to explore the whole divinity we have within us.

Mirjana



Hi Mirjana
It is not that much of a story but it is a choice that I made and regretted for long time.
About 25 years ago I had the opportunity to take a young man into my home who had aids and was thrown out of his house by his parents because he was gay and they found out because of aids.
At the time aids was created such a fear here and i was separated from my ex and he was talking about getting custody of the kids. I was so afraid that he would get the upper hand if I took the young boy in. So I called my friend Liz and told her I couldn't provide a place for him to stay..
I think of this and realize what a wonderful opportunity it could have been for my kids but at the same time i know the fear and anger it would have caused in the small town we lived in could have a backlash affect on my children.
I still struggle with the decision that I made. I made a choice because of my fear.
:)
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Re: Good people and bad people

Postby Sabina » Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:44 pm

Dear Pat,

This story is a nice connection between this topic and "Choices"

A large percentage of a busy modern life is done in a kind of automatism, and I think that it is very easy for people to get lost in this automatism, kind of like being on auto-pilot.

If you want what visible reality can give, you're an employee.
If you want the unseen world, you're not living your truth.
Both wishes are foolish, but you'll be forgiven for forgetting
that what you really want is love's confusing joy.

"Visible Reality" by Rumi

That is where your question about being awakened (from the Choices topic) comes into play. Would you say that you were awakened back at that time, or did your awakening come after this? Was it in any way connected to this event?

I think most people have some event in their past that they regretted at some point in their life.
The most important question, in my opinion, is if this event was in vain or not. As far as I know you, it was not in vain.. because even if you acted out of fear at that time, the feeling of shame or regret or whatever emotion it was that you felt afterward, and according to you even sometimes today, has helped you to change. To become more fearless. To not let fear be the force that guides you.
And in that sense, if that is true and your reality now, then you should only be grateful for what happened, and not feel any shame nor regret, because you are not the same person anymore and your actions today, if given another opportunity, would be different than back then.

Humans make mistakes sometimes, but we can either let our mistakes define us, or learn from them and evolve.

Sabina
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