A good person can have quite a number of definitions. Someone can be defined as a good person according to his or her actions and the situation in which he commits these actions. Good people are defined by their actions and not by the way they talk or what other people say about them (Redhill, 2005). Goodness may be relative according to the context in which the acts termed as good are committed. For instance, if someone helps a thief to escape, he becomes good in the eyes of the criminal, but according to law he is an accomplice and should be jailed.
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In a good man is hard to find, Sammy claimed “two men had come to me and as far as am concerned, they looked alright”. This is a general assumption that people have concerning people’s appearance. Appearance is not reality and things are not what they seem to be. There are many admirable characteristics that can be used to determine whether someone is good. They include helpfulness, kindness, mercifulness, humility, love and many other traits. For one to be perceived as good he or she must possess some or all of the characteristics named above Goodness is a virtue that is learnt with time. Most people term themselves as good, even when they are not.
According to the story a good man is hard to be find, it is learnt that a criminal called Misfit is on the loose and Bailey is taking his family on vacation. According to the character of Misfit, we can easily judge him as someone who is not good. He orders the killing of Baileys’ wife and children and he himself finds so much pleasure in killing the granny. According to this, we can easily conclude that Misfit is not a good person. This will restrain us from confusing appearance and reality as portrayed in the story Carnal Knowledge. “Beef, pork, mutton, dripping mergers, venison and greasy ribs all looked the same to me.” Boyle exclaimed. This is more of a generalized judgment that leads to deception.
On the other hand, in the story of an ‘Ounce of Cure’ we see a young girl who falls in love with an arrogant boy called Martin. He then drops the girl after a very short period and it causes so much depression to the girl that she committed suicide. The girl, even after being brought up in a non-alcoholic family, ends up drowning herself in liquor. From the character of Martin, we notice that he is not a good person. Although his arrogance can be seen as a lesser evil, it is still not good. The girl’s mother is impressed by the break up between Martin and her daughter from that, we learn that Martin is full of pride and arrogance and these traits are not good. In both stories, wrong acts are committed, but murder is seen to have more weight than arrogance.
It is wise to apply investigative habits before judging the character of people around us. “I wondered how I perceived Kline as a good person” the girl wondered in the story of Ounce of Cure. This shows that her perception of Kline was based on appearance and general conclusions. She had never taken time to know him better or learn his true character. In Carnal Knowledge, Boyle panicked because of mere dead meat. Had she investigated a little bit to discover that it was meat she wouldn’t have gone through that shock.
In life, we all want to be good and associated with good things. It is hard to judge how good an individual can be, though some people are perceived to be better than others. Quite a number of factors can influence the level of goodness in a person and they include background, effort and religious affiliation among others. People exert different efforts in striving to achieve goodness. Through practice, people can be transformed into being good individuals.
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