I’ve always felt that I was a pretty good person, that I did things for the right reasons. Playing Dungeons and Dragons in my youth was a major formative factor, since the game gives you the opportunity to be a hero, as was reading a lot of fantasy and science fiction, which was surrounded by heroic role models. You could say my youth instilled in me a heroic ideal.
But lately I have been questioning that. I was doing a contemplation which involved imagining looking at myself from the outside, following myself for a few days, and seeing what I did that was worthy of comment. That led to reviewing my activities over a few years. My conclusion was that I’m actually not much different from the norm, if I compare myself to others.
The thing is, the things that I associate with goodness at this stage in my life are not very similar to the heroic ideals of my childhood. Now I would say it is love, caring, service to a certain extent. Not heroic battle or adventure, those are things to play with, toys. The real stuff of life is more ordinary, more down to earth. I value freedom, a knowing of the self, truth.
Many of my major life decisions have come from feeling whether it is a “good” thing to do, you could say I was addicted to goodness. It made me feel pleasant to do good things. I think a lot of people have that instinct. It comes from wanting to be loveable as a child, I think. But what good has meant in adult life has shifted, from what people used to tell me, to things that come from within.
What has being good meant to you?