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me-wonders

What makes a person good?

98 posts in this topic

We all know when something bad or unjust has been done to us, it is not a matter of personal opinion. A young man in the 'hood' does bad things to others without perhaps feeling remorse, but if the same thing happens to him, or to someone he cares for, it is a different story entirely.

Peaced

mark

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Probably staying a in a temple like monks and pray for others in the entire life, is the best way to make sure you won't do any harm to others.

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Probably staying a in a temple like monks and pray for others in the entire life, is the best way to make sure you won't do any harm to others.

But that isn't living, it is retiring from life. Living is learning from your mistakes and becoming greater than your frailties and weaknesses. It is overcoming those weaknesses that allows us to progress from a base human to a human with empathy for others, who desires the good of others over the good of the self.

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What makes a person good......

A pic is worth a thousand words....Any of these three, or all, have many of the qualities that make a person good.....

mr+rogers+saint.jpg

Kanagroo%255B1%255D.jpg

bono.jpg

Edited by Sakari

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Why should anything be good or bad?, because we've always been told it has to be.

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What makes a person good is his mind and thus his actions. If his actions lead to harmony, to happiness and are beneficial to himself and/or others etc, these actions can be called 'good'. If on the other hand his actions lead to disharmony, to suffering, and are not beneficial to himself and/or others etc, these actions can be called 'bad' - even 'evil'.

To think that goodness can only be achieved 'through Jesus' causes disharmony, mental suffering in others and isn't a beneficial teaching etc. This teaching can be called 'bad' and should be discarded.

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Let me again ask the question, as per your examples earlier...

That child in gang environment ends up shooting someone because they believe this is the only way to survive. Take down a potential competitor

That child in proverty ends up rolling a house so they can feed their family

That child in nice functioning family beats up an old lady

Is not our society able to give alternative resolution to any of these problems? Do these people not know that they can ask for aid in overcoming their social and economic difficulties?

If they live in an environment of exclusion, are they not aware that giving in to the laws of survival and the rule of the strong over the weak, will not save them and will only lead them into an unending circle of destruction? Again, are they not aware that they can overcome their environment and actually do some good?

Environment is the eternal excuse given to explain away they corruption of human dignity... there is always a way out of it. But some people will always prefer the stink of their own corruption to the possibility of leaving it behind. It would mean accepting help, it would mean putting your ego aside, it would mean that they would not be king of the anthill anymore...

Simply put, it is not about survival, it is about ego.

This most certainly is along the lines of the discussion I hoped to have. I grew up in a low income family in Los Angeles county, and at age 18 went to live with my father, whom I just met, in an exclusive neighborhood. Those were completely different realities. Money and security makes a huge difference!

I don't think your explanation of staying stuck in the ghetto or with the ghetto mind set, is completely about ego, because how does one comprehend a reality, with no experience of that reality? I think your answer assumes we all share the same reality, and that isn't true. To function in someone's else reality, requires having to know something about it. A young person doesn't strive for jobs that are so far from his reality, the jobs are not even part of his consciousness. A young person doesn't save for a home, when owing a home is completely outside of his consciousness, and impossible dream that is dismissed.

We all have our comfort zones and we tend to stay inside them. This is not about ego, but about feeling comfortable or uncomfortable. Like staying in a miserable marriage, because the known is better than the unknown. Dressing well and going a classical concert, takes some getting use to, and it helps to do this with family or a friend. If a person doesn't know someone who dresses and attends classical concerts, this is unlikely to be a chosen activity.

Many attitudes and behaviors and even our self image, develop from our experiences.

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Why should anything be good or bad?, because we've always been told it has to be.

Greek philosophy sets the standard for good, on that which benefits life. When we are taught to how to think, we can then think about what we think, and "the truth shall set you free". That is, we are not trapped by what we learned or were taught to think, if we learn to think about what we think.

Public education did a far better job of setting children free, than it is doing today. Preparing products for industry, does not teach our young to think about what they think, so many are trapped. A few caring people realize this, and create programs for ghetto schools, that actually set the young free. The sad thing is, today, this isn't the purpose of education, but depends on individuals with money, being able to supplement the education the children get.

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Sakari, oh yes, and Shari Lewis with Lamb Chops, and Sesame Street.

These shows were adults interacting with children. Hum, that turns a light on in my head! Excuse me, I am off to search for videos to help my granddaugher with her difficult son. THANK YOU.

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What makes a person good is his mind and thus his actions. If his actions lead to harmony, to happiness and are beneficial to himself and/or others etc, these actions can be called 'good'. If on the other hand his actions lead to disharmony, to suffering, and are not beneficial to himself and/or others etc, these actions can be called 'bad' - even 'evil'.

To think that goodness can only be achieved 'through Jesus' causes disharmony, mental suffering in others and isn't a beneficial teaching etc. This teaching can be called 'bad' and should be discarded.

But who said that goodness can only be achieved through Jesus. He talks of salvation, not goodness. That is why being a good man doesn't get you saved, neither does it save a bad man.

Good and bad people exist, the rain falls on them all, so does the sun. We are the ones who can choose... to be good or to be bad, or to be a mixture of both.

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This most certainly is along the lines of the discussion I hoped to have. I grew up in a low income family in Los Angeles county, and at age 18 went to live with my father, whom I just met, in an exclusive neighborhood. Those were completely different realities. Money and security makes a huge difference!

I don't think your explanation of staying stuck in the ghetto or with the ghetto mind set, is completely about ego, because how does one comprehend a reality, with no experience of that reality? I think your answer assumes we all share the same reality, and that isn't true. To function in someone's else reality, requires having to know something about it. A young person doesn't strive for jobs that are so far from his reality, the jobs are not even part of his consciousness. A young person doesn't save for a home, when owing a home is completely outside of his consciousness, and impossible dream that is dismissed.

We all have our comfort zones and we tend to stay inside them. This is not about ego, but about feeling comfortable or uncomfortable. Like staying in a miserable marriage, because the known is better than the unknown. Dressing well and going a classical concert, takes some getting use to, and it helps to do this with family or a friend. If a person doesn't know someone who dresses and attends classical concerts, this is unlikely to be a chosen activity.

Many attitudes and behaviors and even our self image, develop from our experiences.

I don't agree, not because of what you said but because human nature is the same all over the world. What you say can apply to different civilizations who have totally different values, but even that is fast disappearing into a global community. Yes, we do share a common reality.

Our experiences may be different but not so different that the values themselves change. Just because you moved from a poor neighbourhood to a rich one does not change your values, only your daily experience. If you are honest in one world, you will tend to be honest in the other. If you respect others in one world you will continue to do so in the other. This reality does not change, unless you change.

I have known people who lived in a poor neighbourhood and they have remained true to those values we consider positive. I have known rich people I wouldn't trust with a single Euro.

The place does not make the value of the person, that ultimately belongs to the person himself. That is why we have people who have fought and overcome impossible odds to make something of themsleves, to make their dream come true.

Being stuck in a ghetto does not make you stupid, nor does it make you ignorant, you only become that by choice, because that is what you prefer. Those people have knowledge of other types of life, they just consider those people suckers, and victims, they are prey. Ultimately it is about ego, and what you consider to be of value to your life.

As another poster said, if I stick a knife into you to rob you, you are nothing to me, just a source of income. If someone sticks a knife into me, I am the victim crying for mercy, don't I deserve it?

The same person understands both sides of the argument and they know... Don't do unto others, what you would not have them do unto you.

But the choice is theirs.

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Our experiences may be different but not so different that the values themselves change. Just because you moved from a poor neighbourhood to a rich one does not change your values, only your daily experience. If you are honest in one world, you will tend to be honest in the other. If you respect others in one world you will continue to do so in the other. This reality does not change, unless you change.

What if the values are not presented in the first instance? From childhood onwards? A human is an animal with a highly tuned survival instinct. This can mean that showing kindness or good moral value in a "ghetto" environment can make a victim of this person to the machinations of the con men and criminally minded or self serving. To survive could conceivably mean putting aside moral values ie: selling drugs for food or prostitution to keep a roof over one's head, stealing etc could be animal survival instincts too.

Without access to education and information that alternatives to this lifestyle are available people will be victims of their fear of hunger and cold, basically they will be victims of their Ego without the tools to comprehend this has occurred and that they can choose something different. I do not think people in this condition can be looked upon as good or bad but simply as the unfortunate. There needs to be intervention and rehabilitation into a secure environment first. Only then, when fear of starvation, cold, privation are eliminated can a person see what within them is driven by Ego and make an informed decision to act differently.

I have known people who lived in a poor neighbourhood and they have remained true to those values we consider positive. I have known rich people I wouldn't trust with a single Euro.

Yes, of course, communities "enclaves" of moral minded souls do arise inspite of circumstances. This would be due to the early intervention of strong leaders who have learned how to make these values work for the benefit of all, without these mentors in a poor neighbourhood, other more nefarious mentorship will hold sway with nothing to counter it.

The place does not make the value of the person, that ultimately belongs to the person himself. That is why we have people who have fought and overcome impossible odds to make something of themsleves, to make their dream come true.

I think it is more that a person can overcome their circumstances but that does not make those who could not inherantly evil or bad, just fearful and ignorant of the machinations of their own mind.

Being stuck in a ghetto does not make you stupid, nor does it make you ignorant, you only become that by choice, because that is what you prefer. Those people have knowledge of other types of life, they just consider those people suckers, and victims, they are prey. Ultimately it is about ego, and what you consider to be of value to your life.

I disagree. Being raised in a ghetto can mean a complete lack of education. Coming from an abusive home or an area filled with criminal activity where those that do well are those that abuse others or steal to get what they need will teach a person that this is how one survives in the jungle. To say we are not a product of our environment goes against all we know of society. I am a christian, born into a catholic family. If I was born in Iran, I would likely be a muslim and my life and therefore the values I choose would be entirely different and suited to that circumstance. Living as I do my values allow for independence, equality and freedom of expression for all people. Would seclusion behind a burqa, early marriage, no education and lack of voting rights give me these same values? (I only use this as an extreme example of what can occur, most muslims I know hold all the same christian values I do - male and female here in the west).

As another poster said, if I stick a knife into you to rob you, you are nothing to me, just a source of income. If someone sticks a knife into me, I am the victim crying for mercy, don't I deserve it?

Of course this is true, however, the supression of empathy can be a learned response to ensure survival. It is indeed the case that this continued suppression will lead to the capacity to feel nothing for others and therefore have no problems causing them great harm. But the perpetrator is as much a victim of this capacity of the Ego to self serve as the actual stabbing victim. It is an act of ignorance and fear not evil.

The same person understands both sides of the argument and they know... Don't do unto others, what you would not have them do unto you.

But the choice is theirs.

People also choose "do unto others before they do unto you" as a way to survive in a world they view through the lens of being inherently evil.

These people may not be bad people but sincerely mistaken about what motivates others - all based on how they were raised and what their environment has thrown at them, how they responded, what worked and what brought them personal harm.

As stated earlier constantly being attacked because one will not fight will teach a person to strike first if they wish to survive and learn not to care about the consequences as long as they themselves can walk away - sometimes with a full wallet and means to pay the rent and food to boot. That is all they will allow themselves to see as the outcome, lest they "weaken" and become a victim of a "cruel world" themselves.

People in these circumstances are not privy to the time to consider that they are mistaken or that their ego is controlling them and making bad choices they would not otherwise make if they could see it's motivations.

I believe there is a level below which a human is capable of anything. Every human deserves to have food, shelter and clothing - with the secure notion these things will always be available. If a human does not have these three things then they are no longer wholly responsible for their actions - they are as much victims of circumstance which require extreme measures to ensure survival. Societies and communities may well have institutions and processes in place to care for these people BUT many fall through the cracks or are not in a position to know of these services or take good advantage of them too. "There but for the grace of God go I" - empathy is required to understand fully why people behave as they do.

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But who said that goodness can only be achieved through Jesus.

The O.P implied it.

But on the count of exclusive salvation through Jesus, I say the idea is wrong and only causes conflict in peoples minds - even within the mind of the one who holds that view. So the idea of 'salvation through Jesus' should be rejected on the grounds of 'disharmony'. People can strive to save themselves, and on top of that, some people don't need to be saved at all because they're fine the way they are. Thats the truth.

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What makes a person good is his mind and thus his actions. If his actions lead to harmony, to happiness and are beneficial to himself and/or others etc, these actions can be called 'good'. If on the other hand his actions lead to disharmony, to suffering, and are not beneficial to himself and/or others etc, these actions can be called 'bad' - even 'evil'.

To think that goodness can only be achieved 'through Jesus' causes disharmony, mental suffering in others and isn't a beneficial teaching etc. This teaching can be called 'bad' and should be discarded.

Having wandered off-topic a bit with my previous post, I'd just like to reiterate my position on the matter which I have done so by quoting my first post in this thread regarding this matter.

Thank you.

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I don't agree, not because of what you said but because human nature is the same all over the world. What you say can apply to different civilizations who have totally different values, but even that is fast disappearing into a global community. Yes, we do share a common reality.

Our experiences may be different but not so different that the values themselves change. Just because you moved from a poor neighbourhood to a rich one does not change your values, only your daily experience. If you are honest in one world, you will tend to be honest in the other. If you respect others in one world you will continue to do so in the other. This reality does not change, unless you change.

I have known people who lived in a poor neighbourhood and they have remained true to those values we consider positive. I have known rich people I wouldn't trust with a single Euro.

The place does not make the value of the person, that ultimately belongs to the person himself. That is why we have people who have fought and overcome impossible odds to make something of themsleves, to make their dream come true.

Being stuck in a ghetto does not make you stupid, nor does it make you ignorant, you only become that by choice, because that is what you prefer. Those people have knowledge of other types of life, they just consider those people suckers, and victims, they are prey. Ultimately it is about ego, and what you consider to be of value to your life.

As another poster said, if I stick a knife into you to rob you, you are nothing to me, just a source of income. If someone sticks a knife into me, I am the victim crying for mercy, don't I deserve it?

The same person understands both sides of the argument and they know... Don't do unto others, what you would not have them do unto you.

But the choice is theirs.

I think you are wrong, and that thinking we all share the same reality is a great misfortune, because I believe this leads to injustices, and prevents us from resolving social problems. Your answer lacks awareness of differences and therefore compassion for those who have a different life experience.

For example, unless you have been a black person living with prejudice against blacks, you can not know the experience that makes the person. There are other differences that separate us just as much. Being a female is not equal to being a male. It just is not. How can one learn the feeling of having plenty of money and security and the freedom money gives us, if one has never had the experience?

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The O.P implied it.

But on the count of exclusive salvation through Jesus, I say the idea is wrong and only causes conflict in peoples minds - even within the mind of the one who holds that view. So the idea of 'salvation through Jesus' should be rejected on the grounds of 'disharmony'. People can strive to save themselves, and on top of that, some people don't need to be saved at all because they're fine the way they are. Thats the truth.

"It appears many Christians think people must become Christians and must be saved by Jesus to be moral and good people. I find this belief rather offensive, and think we should talk about what makes a person good."

The OP says this is an offensive notion, it does not imply that it is true.

How does a person get to be as s/he is? That is the question.

There is an implied second question as well. Can a person change? If so, what would cause the change?

We once focused education on good citizenship, believing goodness can be taught. Especially German philosophers became recognized authorities on education for morality. This discussion has ancient roots in ancient civilizations. Men like Socrates and Zeno were focused on what makes a person good. Hinduism and Buddhism and Zoroastrianism also address the issue of human goodness. Then we also have the discipline of psychology that asks what makes a person as s/he is.

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What if the values are not presented in the first instance? From childhood onwards? A human is an animal with a highly tuned survival instinct. This can mean that showing kindness or good moral value in a "ghetto" environment can make a victim of this person to the machinations of the con men and criminally minded or self serving. To survive could conceivably mean putting aside moral values ie: selling drugs for food or prostitution to keep a roof over one's head, stealing etc could be animal survival instincts too.

Without access to education and information that alternatives to this lifestyle are available people will be victims of their fear of hunger and cold, basically they will be victims of their Ego without the tools to comprehend this has occurred and that they can choose something different. I do not think people in this condition can be looked upon as good or bad but simply as the unfortunate. There needs to be intervention and rehabilitation into a secure environment first. Only then, when fear of starvation, cold, privation are eliminated can a person see what within them is driven by Ego and make an informed decision to act differently.

Yes, of course, communities "enclaves" of moral minded souls do arise inspite of circumstances. This would be due to the early intervention of strong leaders who have learned how to make these values work for the benefit of all, without these mentors in a poor neighbourhood, other more nefarious mentorship will hold sway with nothing to counter it.

I think it is more that a person can overcome their circumstances but that does not make those who could not inherantly evil or bad, just fearful and ignorant of the machinations of their own mind.

I disagree. Being raised in a ghetto can mean a complete lack of education. Coming from an abusive home or an area filled with criminal activity where those that do well are those that abuse others or steal to get what they need will teach a person that this is how one survives in the jungle. To say we are not a product of our environment goes against all we know of society. I am a christian, born into a catholic family. If I was born in Iran, I would likely be a muslim and my life and therefore the values I choose would be entirely different and suited to that circumstance. Living as I do my values allow for independence, equality and freedom of expression for all people. Would seclusion behind a burqa, early marriage, no education and lack of voting rights give me these same values? (I only use this as an extreme example of what can occur, most muslims I know hold all the same christian values I do - male and female here in the west).

Of course this is true, however, the supression of empathy can be a learned response to ensure survival. It is indeed the case that this continued suppression will lead to the capacity to feel nothing for others and therefore have no problems causing them great harm. But the perpetrator is as much a victim of this capacity of the Ego to self serve as the actual stabbing victim. It is an act of ignorance and fear not evil.

People also choose "do unto others before they do unto you" as a way to survive in a world they view through the lens of being inherently evil.

These people may not be bad people but sincerely mistaken about what motivates others - all based on how they were raised and what their environment has thrown at them, how they responded, what worked and what brought them personal harm.

As stated earlier constantly being attacked because one will not fight will teach a person to strike first if they wish to survive and learn not to care about the consequences as long as they themselves can walk away - sometimes with a full wallet and means to pay the rent and food to boot. That is all they will allow themselves to see as the outcome, lest they "weaken" and become a victim of a "cruel world" themselves.

People in these circumstances are not privy to the time to consider that they are mistaken or that their ego is controlling them and making bad choices they would not otherwise make if they could see it's motivations.

I believe there is a level below which a human is capable of anything. Every human deserves to have food, shelter and clothing - with the secure notion these things will always be available. If a human does not have these three things then they are no longer wholly responsible for their actions - they are as much victims of circumstance which require extreme measures to ensure survival. Societies and communities may well have institutions and processes in place to care for these people BUT many fall through the cracks or are not in a position to know of these services or take good advantage of them too. "There but for the grace of God go I" - empathy is required to understand fully why people behave as they do.

I absolutely love what you have to say, and want to add to it, since 1958 we have prepared our young for a technological society with unknown values, and have dramatically different values from our past.

We not only have corruption, but corporate cultures that ensure the greatest corruption. That is how the banking system got into trouble. Our bankers were doing things that were completely immoral and getting rewarded for it. Those who said things were going very wrong, lost their careers. We like to believe the moral problem is in the ghettos, but today the moral problem is in high places, and I am quite sure this the result of amoral education for technology, and leaving moral training to the church. I think our nation is in big trouble, and that is why I enter these forums. Material values have trumped human values and this is a cultural problem.

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I think you are wrong, and that thinking we all share the same reality is a great misfortune, because I believe this leads to injustices, and prevents us from resolving social problems. Your answer lacks awareness of differences and therefore compassion for those who have a different life experience.

For example, unless you have been a black person living with prejudice against blacks, you can not know the experience that makes the person. There are other differences that separate us just as much. Being a female is not equal to being a male. It just is not. How can one learn the feeling of having plenty of money and security and the freedom money gives us, if one has never had the experience?

Because it is in the knowing, not the experience.

Let me ask a question... Why does a man steal money? Because he knows what he can do wih it. You don't have to have it to know what you can do with it.

We have fallen into a mental trap in trying to continually justify peoples actions based on how they grew up. People know that every choice they make has a consequence. This is not religious, it is life. To dismiss their actions based on a poor upbringing, or because they are of a different skin colour or a different religion does not excuse anybody from their own actions.

This is what leads to injustice and to blindness. People cannot expect special treatment if they are women, of a different religion different colour different whatever...

Psychologically you are playing into a survival mechanism, by allowing people to be cast as "Other" or "Not ours", by treating people as people, you break down that otherness and create a connection with them, by playing into this "poor little victim" theme, you are in fact separating them from any possibility of overcoming those difficulties.

Edited by Jor-el

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Because it is in the knowing, not the experience.

Let me ask a question... Why does a man steal money? Because he knows what he can do wih it. You don't have to have it to know what you can do with it.

We have fallen into a mental trap in trying to continually justify peoples actions based on how they grew up. People know that every choice they make has a consequence. This is not religious, it is life. To dismiss their actions based on a poor upbringing, or because they are of a different skin colour or a different religion does not excuse anybody from their own actions.

This is what leads to injustice and to blindness. People cannot expect special treatment if they are women, of a different religion different colour different whatever...

Psychologically you are playing into a survival mechanism, by allowing people to be cast as "Other" or "Not ours", by treating people as people, you break down that otherness and create a connection with them, by playing into this "poor little victim" theme, you are in fact separating them from any possibility of overcoming those difficulties.

Jor el we can't tell much just from ones behavior, what we want to look at is the logic that motivates it. :tu:

It's the logic behind behavior that helps us to seek solutions to the problems with the behaviors.

We discuss things, we take the time to explain things to our kids because it is in what we think that motivates the behaviors we choose.

You are a father, correct? Don't you ask your son why did you do that? Because it is in the understanding of the why we can try to find ways to prevent it in the future.

And we use many methodologies just one method addresses all of the human experience and raising a child.

Along the way there are key things that need to happen.

Mental health is a very imperative aspect of one who is a value and benefit to society , you bet the childhood plays a huge part in contributing to this.

Do not take my word for it, READ PIAGET, ERICKSON, BANDURA, MASLOW,

The great minds that have helped us understand how to do what is best for a child so they can be a productive functional adult.

We can do a lot of preventative in childhood. A bit of knowledge goes a long way :tu:

Edited by Sherapy

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I absolutely love what you have to say, and want to add to it, since 1958 we have prepared our young for a technological society with unknown values, and have dramatically different values from our past.

We not only have corruption, but corporate cultures that ensure the greatest corruption. That is how the banking system got into trouble. Our bankers were doing things that were completely immoral and getting rewarded for it. Those who said things were going very wrong, lost their careers. We like to believe the moral problem is in the ghettos, but today the moral problem is in high places, and I am quite sure this the result of amoral education for technology, and leaving moral training to the church. I think our nation is in big trouble, and that is why I enter these forums. Material values have trumped human values and this is a cultural problem.

Thank you me-wonders :blush:

And Yes, absolutely, people have been taught that success is measured by riches and power. Respect, gifts, friendships, lovers, goods and services are laid at the feet of those who have "triumphed' in the finance or corporate sector - the means by which they did so is even held in esteem aka" "he pursued his goals with tenacity and a ruthless disregard for all dissenters", "he/she has an acute business sense". These are not comments that show respect for morality or social conscience they are comments (and the media is profusely littered with them) which deceive the young to believe these qualities are of great value in life.

People admire ruthless people, I see it all the time. They also admire bullies under the misbegotten label of "assertive personality types". Being assertive is a good quality when used to stand one's ground on an important issue, but, so very often it is the bullies who are given this title by those who do not wish to be the bullies next target - those who have power are still using fear to hold that power just as they have throughout human history it seems - and as you say, they are being rewarded for it so they mistakenly believe it is a perfectly moral way to behave.

Edited by libstaK

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I think this is probably one of the best quotes I have heard on this subject:

"Goodness is in the eyes of the beholder"

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Jor el we can't tell much just from ones behavior, what we want to look at is the logic that motivates it. :tu:

It's the logic behind behavior that helps us to seek solutions to the problems with the behaviors.

We discuss things, we take the time to explain things to our kids because it is in what we think that motivates the behaviors we choose.

You are a father, correct? Don't you ask your son why did you do that? Because it is in the understanding of the why we can try to find ways to prevent it in the future.

And we use many methodologies just one method addresses all of the human experience and raising a child.

Along the way there are key things that need to happen.

Mental health is a very imperative aspect of one who is a value and benefit to society , you bet the childhood plays a huge part in contributing to this.

Do not take my word for it, READ PIAGET, ERICKSON, BANDURA, MASLOW,

The great minds that have helped us understand how to do what is best for a child so they can be a productive functional adult.

We can do a lot of preventative in childhood. A bit of knowledge goes a long way :tu:

Wow, thank you for that explanation. And I want to add to it, we just are not born all knowing. We have the social instincts of all social animals, that become our bases for morals when we start using words to understand things, but seriously, we have to learn morals to actually be moral. And even then, some things just are not understood until experiencing them. And our ability to understand changes as we get older.

This is not excusing bad behavior. It is knowing we aren't born understanding what bad behavior is and we certainly do not agree on everything we label good and bad.

Oh, I just remembered the bible says something about this. Something about, it isn't sin until we know it is wrong, and do it anyway. For example, it is natural for a child to take what s/he wants simply because s/he wants it. Like it can be hard for a child to learn not to run into the street, it can be hard for a child to learn not to take what s/he sees in a store (depending on the age of course). It just takes awhile for the brain to develop enough to grasp certain concepts. Or requires the opportunity to learn, before something is learned.

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Thank you me-wonders :blush:

And Yes, absolutely, people have been taught that success is measured by riches and power. Respect, gifts, friendships, lovers, goods and services are laid at the feet of those who have "triumphed' in the finance or corporate sector - the means by which they did so is even held in esteem aka" "he pursued his goals with tenacity and a ruthless disregard for all dissenters", "he/she has an acute business sense". These are not comments that show respect for morality or social conscience they are comments (and the media is profusely littered with them) which deceive the young to believe these qualities are of great value in life.

People admire ruthless people, I see it all the time. They also admire bullies under the misbegotten label of "assertive personality types". Being assertive is a good quality when used to stand one's ground on an important issue, but, so very often it is the bullies who are given this title by those who do not wish to be the bullies next target - those who have power are still using fear to hold that power just as they have throughout human history it seems - and as you say, they are being rewarded for it so they mistakenly believe it is a perfectly moral way to behave.

I had a hard time with the truth of what you speak, when my teenagers were coming of age.

I am old enough to be of the generation before women's liberation. I remember when being a good woman meant being a full time homemaker, and self sacrificing, and putting everyone else first. Then in the 1960's the ideal woman was a Mother Goddess. Then women were "liberated" (?) and it was so exciting to read the word "she" in the New Woman magazine, where before we only saw the word he. And now I am having trouble accepting today's ideal woman, as the best model for women.

Now of course, the ideal woman model I was working with, required a husband who was also a good father, and we didn't have this. My X had gone from a man who knew he shouldn't drink, because he knew he would drink until he blacked out and bad things would happen, to being an active alcoholic, and when he went through treatment and turned to AA, he thought putting his soberity first meant walking away from the stress of family. There I was alone with confused and hurt teenagers, at the height of a recession, and without the work experience needed to compete for employment. To my children, I looked like a complete failure with very bad values. While the media was full of stories about successful people. You know, the do whatever it takes to achieve your goal, values. Things did not go well from here, until about 10 years later, when my son and daughter decided maybe there is merit to my out dated, old fashioned values.

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I had a hard time with the truth of what you speak, when my teenagers were coming of age.

I am old enough to be of the generation before women's liberation. I remember when being a good woman meant being a full time homemaker, and self sacrificing, and putting everyone else first. Then in the 1960's the ideal woman was a Mother Goddess. Then women were "liberated" (?) and it was so exciting to read the word "she" in the New Woman magazine, where before we only saw the word he. And now I am having trouble accepting today's ideal woman, as the best model for women.

Now of course, the ideal woman model I was working with, required a husband who was also a good father, and we didn't have this. My X had gone from a man who knew he shouldn't drink, because he knew he would drink until he blacked out and bad things would happen, to being an active alcoholic, and when he went through treatment and turned to AA, he thought putting his soberity first meant walking away from the stress of family. There I was alone with confused and hurt teenagers, at the height of a recession, and without the work experience needed to compete for employment. To my children, I looked like a complete failure with very bad values. While the media was full of stories about successful people. You know, the do whatever it takes to achieve your goal, values. Things did not go well from here, until about 10 years later, when my son and daughter decided maybe there is merit to my out dated, old fashioned values.

Hey me wonders - so you were assertive in the true sense of taking a position that you could live with and retain your dignity and self respect in despite what others tried to tell you that you should value. I am sure your children are very grateful and proud of having you as their role model now that they have faced the crudity of materialism and greed themselves - love and simple integrity is precious beyond words.

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This is like asking which color is the prettiest.

Edited by Soul Kitchen

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