Are you a Good Person or do you just feel like one?

Of course, I need to give myself grace. So I have little reminders like this to encourage me to get out of that guilt trap and accept that I can’t save the world. Source

I have a confession for you all: I am a fraud.

In my philosophy class my freshman year of college, my professor talked about how people who want to feel like good people without being good people tend to have all the right “beliefs”. While there’s nothing wrong with having bumper stickers about saving the whales (except that they’re annoying), there are people who can be evil to those around them, but sleep well because they have that bumper sticker on their car.

Lately my eyes have been open to a lot of social justice causes that I feel “passionate” about. More than ever, I find myself wanting to support causes in ways that involve me sacrificing… nothing… other than maybe a few followers who grow tired of my reblogs. In fact, I have less problem alienating people than ever before. I’m starting to wonder if perhaps my beliefs to say “oh well, too bad for those racists” isn’t tied into some fight in me that separates myself from those I consider “bad people” in order for me to be one of the “good people”.

We all want to be good people. At least, most of us do. It makes us feel better inside. But if all my “good” is tied into beliefs and pressing “queue” for some posts, then what am I doing? I don’t think there’s wrong in those actions. Spreading awareness for causes is GREAT and IMPORTANT. But your identity for who you are morally doesn’t even begin there. It starts in action. It starts in making a real difference. Most importantly, it starts in sacrifice.

Am I a fraud?

Yes, I have been. One might say “A real fraud would never ask themselves these questions!” but the truth is that they would. You’re just trying to make me feel better, or maybe make yourself feel better. A fraud would ask themselves this, then they would continue on with what they were doing before. Or perhaps they would change, and become less of a fraud… but that doesn’t mean they weren’t before.

Now, what do I do? That’s the real question. When you identify that you are full of hot air… that you sacrifice nothing for causes that you think mean everything… what’s the next step?

Last year, I was telling God that I was sorry. “Sorry, sorry, sorry.” The word rolled out of my mouth so many times out of instinct. Until I felt the words “Stop being sorry and start changing.”

Not to say you shouldn’t feel conviction. You should. And you should be sorry and say sorry when you have done wrong. But I was stuck there. I was stuck in my apology, frozen in my guilt, and the truth is that I didn’t want to move. I felt horrible for what I had done because I knew it was wrong, but I didn’t really want to change. Guilt controls you and it doesn’t lead way to actual change. The best way to change is to stop talking and start acting.

I invite you to tell me some ways that I can make this next step. I have a couple ideas that I plan to take action into. Of course, I can plan all I want. But it means nothing until I do it. My biggest excuse has been that I’m waiting until I’ve moved… until I’ve settled. But that wastes away the weeks, which turn into months.

This blog is a confession, but a confession isn’t enough.

What are some ways you help causes that you are passionate about? How do you show love to those around you? What do you DO?


One thought on “Are you a Good Person or do you just feel like one?

  1. Great writing dear. I don’t know how i came to follow your blog – it showed up in my email. But I feel that your perspective here is the missing piece to a recent post of mine “Finding Balance: Daily Routine and Global Awareness”:

    In mine, I provide some options that are excuse-less. Action we can take and awareness we can reach before, during, or after a move — or any daily routine we get in.

    By the way, I really enjoyed your writing style.


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