In case it wasn’t clear, this post is satire
Innate goodness. A term used to describe being born with the quality of goodness, which is not as common as we would hope.
Being ‘good’ is something we all strive to be better at- because we want to or because we have to. It takes conscious effort, accountability, and practice to learn any skill, and ‘being good’ is not so different.
Realistically, many of our initial knee-jerk reactions to a situation, person, name-place-animal-thing can be negative. Maybe slightly judgemental, rude, or downright cruel.
It makes us feel like terrible people but here’s the kicker- a lot of us have been conditioned by society to have negative, mean, or socially unacceptable thoughts as our first response.
They aren’t really us.
They don’t reflect our true values or the personal growth we have achieved through being properly educated about the topic.
If your initial terrible thought stays in your mind and is not the first thing out of your mouth, you’re already morally superior to 90% of the population.
Real talk though, maybe think twice before responding critically (and not in a nice way) to what people say. And if you still feel like your reaction won’t change, go for it!
We live in the age of social media. Connected, informed, scrutinized, and judged.
Our personality can be (wrongly) defined by how we behave on social media- how much we post, what we post about, and how much engagement our posts get.
2022 has been a new ball game altogether. We now have a new defining trait for goodness- How much social activism do you perform? (insert the word ‘media’ between ‘social activism’)
That doesn’t mean being active about social activism online is a bad thing. But it is interesting how our level of goodness is now defined by our actions on social media. And who doesn’t like being liked?
And because I’m nice and definitely not a troll, here are some tips on being a good person in 2022-
1. Care about everything
Climate change? Check.
War in Ukraine? Check
Black lives matter? Check
If you don’t have an annotated list of important topics, you’re waaay behind in the game of being a good person in 2022.
Letting even one topic slide is absolutely reprehensible.
Did not post about ‘climate change’
You’re definitely a climate change denier with the intellectual capacity of a toad. AND ON THE PATH OF BECOMING AN ANTI-VAXXER TOO!
Did not share a black colour post on Instagram for ‘Black Lives Matter’?
You, your parents, your neighbours, your entire village are all racist pricks who should not have the privilege of existing.
2. Be active on social media-
Here’s what you do- take a screenshot of a nicely written post with eye-catching graphics, post it on your profile without tagging the original creator, share a minimum of 3 stories about the topic, and quietly judge others for not doing the same.
If you don’t talk about it on social media, your entire life is garbage.
Moral currency of the week earned and deposited!
3. Call out people who don’t post about the latest trending ‘the world is a shitty place and we’re all gonna die’ topic-
An old classmate you’ve not spoken to in 20 years hasn’t made or shared a post about the Israeli-Palestinian crisis? Clearly a terrible person and you’re so glad you don’t talk anymore.
Plus points to you if you also attack them over it! An angry DM goes a long way in making you high-minded and noble.
Best tips ever. Doesn’t matter if
1. You don’t really care about the topic because you aren’t personally affected by it
2. You don’t have the emotional capacity to care at that moment because you’re dealing with your own shit
3. You’re busy with a life outside social media
4. You’ve not had the time to educate yourself, therefore you don’t have an informed opinion and don’t feel comfortable talking about it yet
5. You’ve already done or will do something privately to help out the cause
6. You’re just not comfortable talking about it on social media
In case it’s still not obvious, the whole idea of being called a good person solely because of the stupid social media narrative of staying connected and being a loudspeaker for social activism is bullshit. Or being called a bad person for not doing so.
I fell into that trap. I don’t know why I felt entitled to other people’s actions or inactions, and why it made me feel uncomfortable if I didn’t talk about an important social topic. Thankfully, I got over it.
Breaking news- we are humans, not computers!
We have a limited capacity to acquire facts, care and act. We can’t quantify everything happening in the world and allot them to nicely labelled folders.
It’s good to care about things but not at the cost of your emotional health. Caring too much is draining, it makes you feel guilty with a burgeoning saviour complex.
You don’t owe anyone your experience of caring. You don’t owe anyone performative activism.
You can’t fix everything. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care, but be realistic about how you can help and don’t do it out of the need to be seen as ‘good’. Learn when to let go.
If you care about something, it doesn’t always mean you have the resources to literally do something about it. Life isn’t fair like that. And that’s okay.