“I don’t think goodness is something that you learn. If you’re left adrift in the world to learn goodness from it, you would be trouble.”
Goodness is something that we need now more than ever in the world and it needs to come from each one of us. It is often associated with others words such as kindness and generous. To me, goodness is something that can create a positive ora around our moral compass that can spread good vibes to others. I find American novelist Cormac McCarthy’s quote quite interesting as I don’t necessarily agree with it which is a rarity for me.
McCarthy says he doesn’t think goodness is something that you can learn. But don’t we learn from the various experiences we are a part of and through the interactions we have with other people? Do we not learn about certain acts that display goodness in our world through social media platforms and occasionally, but very rarely the nightly news? In life we learn right from wrong. Good from bad. Acts of goodness and those that are not.
He goes on to say if we are just left to learn from the world what goodness truly was we’d be in trouble. I think that depends. It depends on your inner circle of people you choose to hang out with. So if there are really no positive role models that show you how to project goodness into the world then I could see how this can possibly happen.
I think goodness really comes from within and we each possess despite what we may have experienced in our lives. There are those where life has been very hard and at times unfair to them. They struggle just to try and make ends meet. Even though the world should owe them some bit of gratitude they don’t seek it out. They live each day to the fullest. Somehow they find a way to project their goodness onto others and decide that each day is a new day to brighten someone else’s day. They might volunteer in a soup kitchen or cut their elderly neighbor’s lawn. They learn to find joy in the world. On the other side you can have someone who lives a very privileged life and still thinks the world owes them something. Worse yet they do not see the importance in spreading goodness to others especially if they are not receiving something in return.
Ultimately I believed goodness depends on the person and their moral compass. Remember that we control our own destiny and we can choose to spread goodness to others, to build them up. What an awesome superpower: to have the ability to bring joy and kindness to others. To me, no matter how young or old you are it is a very learnable act and can be learned at any time.
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards defining/refining your own moral compass?