We live in a world where fast paced and rudeness have become the norm, and it hurts. Today’s world is often busy, chaotic, and divided, and the question of what it truly means to be a good person remains ever relevant. Many of us strive to live by the values of kindness, empathy, and compassion, but how do these principles manifest in our everyday lives? Let’s explore the multifaceted aspects of being a good person, from small acts of courtesy to broader attitudes that shape our interactions and society, and how you can be a good person even when nobody is looking.

1. Mindful Gum Disposal: Respect for the Environment

Picture this: You’ve chomped up your gun down to it’s last flavor squeak and you’re left with a choice. Do you carelessly toss it on the sidewalk, or do you make the effort to dispose of it properly? The floor, under the desk, or under the table are not graveyards! Being a good person means recognizing that our actions impact the environment and those around us. Dispose of it properly, and give Mother Earth a little high-five. You’re basically an environmental superhero. By responsibly disposing of gum and other waste, you show respect for the shared spaces we all inhabit.

2. Holding the Door Open: Acts of Courtesy

The simple act of holding the door open for someone is a timeless gesture of courtesy. It acknowledges the presence of others and conveys a willingness to make their day a little easier. It’s a small act with a big impact, brightening someone’s day and fostering a sense of community. Remember, chivalry isn’t dead—it’s just napping! Holding the door open for someone else is the grown-up equivalent of saying, “I see you, and you matter” See? Manners don’t cost a thing and can make someone’s day.

3. Returning the Shopping Cart: Consideration for Others

This one’s for all you grocery store adventurers! After your shopping is done, what do you do with your cart? Once you’ve conquered the wild aisles of milk and cereal, don’t abandon your chariot (the shopping cart) in the middle of the parking lot. Returning it to the designated area rather than leaving it randomly in the parking lot is a sign of consideration. It demonstrates that you value the convenience and safety of others—both fellow shoppers and the employees responsible for collecting the carts. Returning it is like saying, “Hey, society, I’ve got your back!”

4. Yielding to Pedestrians: Respect for Safety

Next time you’re behind the wheel, and you spot a pedestrian, don’t play a game of real-life Frogger. Yield! At crosswalks and intersections, do you pause and yield the right of way to pedestrians? This isn’t just a matter of the law and traffic rules; it’s a display of empathy and respect for the safety of those on foot. Being a good person involves understanding the importance of pedestrian safety and acting accordingly. Consider it a nod of respect to the ancient tradition of “not running people over.”

5. Helping the Homeless: Compassion in Action

Compassion is a hallmark of being a good person. Got change? How about some empathy coins? Offering a hand to those in need is like being a real-life Care Bear. Minus the cloud car, but still totally heartwarming. Offering a few dollars, a warm meal, or a kind word to a homeless person demonstrates empathy and acknowledges their humanity. It’s a reminder that we are all part of the same human family, even if some are a down on their luck at the moment.

6. Combating Racism and Prejudice: Embracing Inclusivity

If life’s a big, beautiful rainbow, don’t be the cloud that covers it up. Stand against discrimination and be the ally that every color of the rainbow deserves. Being a good person means actively working against racism, prejudice, and discrimination, and if you are not in agreement, I don’t want to be your friend. Combating racism and prejudice involves recognizing our biases, challenging stereotypes, and fostering an inclusive mindset. This commitment to equality extends to how we treat people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, and identities. Honestly, being racist is so utterly stupid.

7. Active Listening and Empathy: Building Relationships

In our interactions with others, whether they’re friends, family, or strangers, being a good person entails practicing active listening and empathy. It means making an effort to understand their perspectives, feelings, and needs. These qualities strengthen relationships and foster trust. Remember, listening is not just the pause between your turn to talk. Active listening is like giving someone an emotional high-five! It’s like saying, “I hear you, I get you, and you’re not just background noise to my awesome playlist of thoughts.”

8. Volunteering and Giving Back: Contributing to Society

Contributing your time and resources to charitable causes or volunteering for community initiatives is a powerful way to be a good person. It demonstrates a commitment to making the world a better place and reminds us of the importance of collective well-being. Why just be a good person when you can be a Good Samaritan with a capital “G” and “S”? Get out there, slap on that volunteer vest like it’s superhero armor, and let your powers of do-goodery shine!

9. Respecting Differences: Celebrating Diversity

In our diverse and interconnected world, respecting differences in race, religion, gender, and culture is essential. Being a good person involves treating all individuals with respect, dignity, and equality, regardless of their background or beliefs. If we were all the same, life would be a dreadfully dull, monochrome painting. So, celebrate the rainbow of human existence! Your life can be a vibrant masterpiece of inclusion if you open your heart and soul to the possibilities.

10. Continuous Self-Improvement: Personal Growth

Finally, being a good person also means engaging in self-reflection and personal growth. It involves acknowledging our own flaws, striving to be better, and continuously learning from our experiences and interactions with others. Being a good person is like being a fine wine or a stinky cheese; you only get better (or at least more interesting) with age. Self-improvement isn’t just for home renovations, folks! Self-improvement is for all of us and should happen on a daily basis.

After reading this, do you consider yourself to be a good person? Because being a good person must include daily practice on your every actions, and reactions. Being a good person encompasses a wide spectrum of actions and attitudes, from small daily gestures of kindness to overarching principles of inclusivity and empathy. It’s a commitment to making choices that have a positive impact on the world around us and fostering a sense of connection and community. While perfection may be elusive, the journey toward being a better person is a path worth pursuing—one step, one small act of goodness at a time.

Diana Giorgetti
Diana Giorgetti

Diana Giorgetti is a multiple trauma survivor, author, idea brewer, problem solver, professional freelancer, and web-designer. A graduate of the University of Miami and Nova Southeastern University with degrees in Psychology and Education Law, she is passionate about helping others, scuba diving, and writing (though not necessarily in that order). She lives in Miami, Florida with her two children and three dogs. She is the author of "The Fundamentals of PTSD: A Guide to Disemboweling the Disorder and Reclaiming Your Life," "PTSD & Relationships: A Survival Guide to Love and Be Loved," and "The PTSD Warrior Healing Mindset: Changes in Habits and Routines to Help Retrain the Brain After Trauma," and she's working on her fourth self-help book. You can find Diana's books on Amazon: amazon.com/author/dianahelps