The way this question is formulated can actually lead to some wrong conclusions in my opinion.
"I am bad?" or for that matter "I am good?" implies an absolute, unchanging and clearly defined state of being. Like "I am a man", or "I am a
We are not like that. We are a dynamic mix of feelings, moods, concepts and intentions, and our actions will automatically reflect that.Sometimes
we're good and sometimes we're evil. Sometimes we don't care also. Even the most kind and loving persons can hurt someone in a way or another,
intentionally or not; even the worst criminals may have a soft spot in their heart for a dog or for a family member. We will always do a mix of bad
things and good things, no matter how much we try to avoid that.
So in this respect, I think we should judge every action in its specific context, and not the person; If I did ten bad things today, and only one good
deed, I still won't think I'm a bad person. Because tomorrow the situation can change, and I can have the chance to save someone's life, and
everything will look different. And yet, I won't think I'm a good person, because next I can run over someone with my car, or someone can annoy me and
I'll snap....and so on and so on. So 'I am bad?' is never what I ask myself. The questions I am asking myself are: could I have done better? did it
helped someone? could I have avoided that? is there something I can improve in this situation?
I think that the way to go is to consider every action, every intent, every person implied in that situation, and also very important, the possibility
we have to do something good. Even small gestures of kindness can be of great importance, a smile, a kind word, we can't always save the world. And
frankly, most of the time we don't have the possibility to do that, to save lives, to end the poverty, to take care of endangered animals and so on.
Sometimes, no matter how much we try, there is nothing we can do.
Beside that, the idea of "good" and "bad" is a very personal concept, mostly borrowed from others, or built on personal feelings. I know a lot of
people who feed their dogs sweets every time they ask. It may seem a kind and nice thing to do, out of love for their pet; but the on the long run
will ruin that dog's health and cause it a lot of suffering.
We don't always know what is good or bad for others, we project our own desires and needs unto them, and then try to fulfill them. I would say that an
action that helped someone in any way, that made someone, including myself, a little happier is a good thing, even if on the grand scale of things my
idea of good doesn't fit theirs. As long as the good is greater than the bad, as long as it's not hurting others. For example, if a believer friend of
mine needs to be reassured that god loves him, I will remind him that even if I personally don't believe in god. if it makes him feel good, and
doesn't hurt no one, why not?
For me, an action is good or bad only by the effect it has on the people I interact with or on my environment, or on myself for that matter. Drinking
is bad not because someone told me so, but because it doesn't do me any good, so I don't drink alcohol.
My advice is try to take life as it comes at you, and in every situation to consider all the factors involved, and to do more good than bad. As the
song says, don't congratulate yourself too much, and don't condemn yourself too much either. Try to accept the good and the bad in you, and in each of
us. Every new moment is a new chance to change something; and the decision is ours. The concepts are not important, only the way our existence affects
the existence of others, of this world.
edit on 11-3-2013 by WhiteHat because: (no reason given)