Quoting: Be Objective About Your Actions

There is a strong tendency for an evil person to consider himself good, and for a truly good person to consider himself bad. The rationale behind this is simple: Their criteria of good and bad differ greatly.

A good person desires to help others, and when unable to do as much as he idealistically wishes, considers himself “bad.”

An evil person considers himself “good” if he refrains from beating someone up after taking their money.

The lesson: Be objective about your actions.

-Sources: Imrai Binah, p.45; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s Gateway to Happiness, p.132

Not sure I totally agree with this person. I think a person can consider themselves good if they use the group’s mindset of good without weighing the pros and cons within themselves. A lot of folks automatically label things “good” and “bad” and never give it another thought because some authority tells them that’s how things should be defined. The truly “good” person will struggle with the moral issues, even when it’s painful, because that’s when they actually take ownership and responsibility for their own attitudes, decisions, and actions.

3 thoughts on “Quoting: Be Objective About Your Actions

  1. The lesson about being objective about one’s actions is valid. The illustrations cited, however, are far too superficial and simplistic. I suppose your own protest is similar, in that some group’s subjective, arbitrarily authoritative, mindset is used as the reference rather than an objective one that the individual has attempted to evaluate and adopt as their own responsibility. One problem is differing relative subjective standards, the other is one of adopting a standard that is not truly objective or well-qualified. Both problems are a matter of applying a false standard.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with what you said, James. I do also agree with the Rabbi you quoted. Another lesson is to be realistic (or objective and discerning) about others who present as if they perceive themselves as good — be not worried, to the detriment of clear-eyed, about being judgmental.

    Liked by 1 person

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