I’m Not a Good Person; Neither Are You
Keri Smith
235

You may be trying to make an end run around what amounts to a false dichotomy here: what law of nature postulates, anyway, that the opposite of “good” in a person, is “bad”?

I only bring it up because I know one hell of a lot of really, really good people. And that is how I intend to continue to regard them.

(And yes, I am absolutely making value judgments, and no, it is absolutely not possible to go through life or even a single day without making them, and dangerous to try…)

Nothing requires me to assume that anyone who does not measure up to that observation, that there really is such a thing as a good person, must therefore by default be a “bad” person. I know of people who are lost people, deluded people, bought-and-paid-for people, irritating people, dangerous people, dishonest people, foolish people, people with bad manners, people with poor judgment, people I wouldn’t trust to take out the garbage, and a whole lot (as in enough to fill several NFL stadiums to capacity) of people who are simply not worth talking to.

Value judgments up the wazoo here, damn straight, and no apologies for them. Try and get through a single day or even one encounter laboring under this naive and sophomoric delusion that there are no good people, or that a shortage or absence of good in people has to mean you think they are bad, and you’re just setting yourself up to get steamrolled and played for a chump in so many ways you won’t even know what hit you.

This idea I’ve heard people throw around all my life, that we have no right or reason to judge one another, is not only preposterous, it may be the most dangerous delusion a person can be taken in by. And sooner or later, I usually manage to decode that the people who are promoting this judgmentlessness are, if you scratch the surface a little, the most judgmental of all and the least skilled at it in the bargain.

The point isn’t about whether or not to judge anyone. It’s what you decide to do, or not do, about it, once you have. And that, is what has us judged by others in turn. Thinking that anyone can (or will, or does) just skip the whole exercise of the most crucial of all human survival skills over merely disapproving of it, is just stupid. And yes, dangerous.