The Common Qualities of Good People

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I’ve been blessed with the opportunities to meet many people in my short time in life. Strangers on the bus, parents of friends, CEOs and cashiers. I’ve met terrible people who have wanted nothing short of harming others, and I’ve met people who have travelled cities to help a stranger.

There are common qualities in good people in life: the supportive, encouraging, and inspiring figures that change lives and make the world a better place. Their existence is often subtle: while some enjoy the spotlight (don’t we all from time to time), they exist in the places we rarely get to see them: amongst the crowd, or in the comforts of their own homes. We know they exist: because we’ve crossed paths with them before. In line at a grocery store, in a classroom, or sitting next to us on a plane.

These people aren’t born. They are made. By their own hand and their response to their experiences in life. Here are some of the common themes I, and others, have seen in this rare breed of a human being.

These are the qualities that I have seen in good people throughout my life. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and there are plenty of qualities that I have missed.

Good people exist. Whether it’s the prominent public figure leading the charge on lifting people out of poverty, the teacher that brings the best out of you, or the young 20-something that starts a conversation with you on the bus: the way they conduct themselves in life is subtle, yet inspiring. When you walk away from that interaction, a part of you feels a bit better. Like you’ve been reminded that there is some good in the world.

It’s important that we give them the attention they deserve: our attention. In today’s age of conflict and confusion, people like them hold us together and keep us from slipping into apathy. And when we embrace these qualities, not only do we help ourselves, but we inspire others to do the same. And that’s how we get better as a society. One person at a time.

Or, as the phenomenal Mr. Rogers said:

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

Helpers. Good people. All the same. Look for them. I promise you that if you look hard enough, you’ll find them.

Carpe Diem, kids.

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Poli Sci grad, Comms Strategist, great at remembering names and terrible at pronouncing them. I write on political psych, practical philosophy, and random stuff

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