The good, the bad, and the oblivious

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“Do bad people ever admit that they are bad?” I spent a lot of time as a child asking myself questions like this. Now that I’m much older, I realise everyone has their perspectives on good and evil and the word “bad” is relative. Regardless of perspectives, do we ever take stock of our actions to identify the occasions where we were “bad” and own up to our wrongdoings? Probably not, or at least not often enough. It’s way easier for us to identify a bad person, than to notice our shortcomings because by default, as long as our intentions are good, how can we be bad?

I was scrolling through a WhatsApp conversation from several years ago and I noticed how insensitive some of the statements I made were. Why wasn’t I kinder? I thought. Of course, my intentions might have been good but when I read the conversation retrospectively, I realised how cruel I may have come across. Thankfully, today’s digital world enables us to ‘go back in time’ and evaluate ourselves but what about the live moments that can never be replayed?

While we can’t change the past, starting today, we can take stock of our days and ask ourselves in all honesty if there were moments where we could have been even a tad bit kinder. Admitting our imperfections not only helps us get better but also allows us to be more gracious when those around us fall short of our expectations.

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