Figuring how to be a good person can feel like an enormous feat. What is considered “good” by some, might be harshly judged by others. Of course, there are universally accepted values that are considered good and are indicators of someone being a good person. But sometimes these values could be too difficult, complicated or require too much sacrifice for an average person to include in their lives.

 

Consider those who do charity work

People who do charity work are good because they’ve dedicated their lives to helping others who need it the most. But dedicating your life to such a cause means you’ll be sacrificing in other ways. Look at an example of a doctor who decides to dedicate their work life to Medécins Sans Frontières, the charity organisation that provides medical assistance to those in dire need of lifesaving help. This is noble and a truly brilliant way of being a good person.  However, the family members of said doctor might find themselves living a life without a mother or father. Therefore, they could be judged harshly for having made a decision to leave their family. But because they’re making a major, positive difference in the world the sacrifice could be seen as worth it.

 

You could grapple about what makes a person good or not, for days on end

After all, we all have flaws. Each of us has messed up in some way or another before and we will do so again. In today’s society most people are wearing many different hats and the stress levels of the average person are through the roof. Between work, social occasions, personal relationships and family obligation, many people operate on the verge of burnout. This can make it difficult to try and be a better person. Being good becomes just another thing to manage, another box that needs to be ticked.

 

If you want to be happier, then be helpful

Bettering yourself, making more positive decisions and trying to impact others in a way that benefits them will have a worthwhile effect on your life too. Huffington Post wrote an article on 10 Facts that prove helping others is the key to achieving personal happiness. They unpack all the ways in which your brain chemicals and your psyche react to the effort you make to helping people. According to the article, you can expect to have stronger personal relationships, develop higher self-esteem and it can turn you from a cynic to an optimist.

 

So how do you go about being a better person?

You don’t have to plan some grand gesture. You need to work on you first and then direct your attention to others. A good person remains self-aware and is kind to themselves as well as others. In this way they learn to have an empathetic attitude towards other people, which is extremely helpful when trying to assist someone in need. Also, you can assist others in such small ways that won’t cost you time or money. Ever heard of how a compliment can change someone’s day? Well so can a smile or even a small gracious gesture. These are easy ways to positively impact another person.

 

Consider also letting go of your ego and your anger as both are doing you an injustice. Holding onto negative feelings will prevent you from being able to reach out a helping hand to another person. Plus, remaining ego-driven and unforgiving breeds anger inside you, and will affect all your interactions with others. What’s more, when you do interact with the people around you, don’t be stingy with compliments and ask them questions about themselves. This makes everyone feel acknowledged and valued.

 

Of course, the ultimate characteristic of a good person is how much they give. But, as mentioned earlier, dedicating your life to giving requires some sacrifice. However you can give in a small ways that are still impactful, such offering a monthly monetary donation to a charity or good cause. Or volunteer your time over a weekend once a month to help out at a charity organisation. Neither of these activities require a lot of sacrifice and yet both will make you feel so good. And your effort to becoming a better person will have paid off.

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About The Author

I was born in the Eastern Cape, close to the waves. After getting my degree in Media, Communication and Culture, I knew it was time to make my way to a big city. Not wanting to leave the ocean, Cape Town was the natural choice for me. At first I thought the fast paced world of marketing. But I never forgot that what I'd always wanted to do was write. Now I'm a freelance writer, where my office is my bedroom and my platform is the World Wide Web. I live with my partner and our two beloved Great Danes. When not reading or writing you can probably find me on the beach or exploring nature trails.

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