What if there are no good or bad people?

What if there are no “bad people”? What if there are only people who try to get their needs met, most of whom have no experience connecting with other people so that the other people’s needs are also met simultaneously?

What if everyone was raised by human parents and everyone internalized ways of seeing and understanding the world that have led them to behave as they do as adults? Wouldn’t that explain most people’s behavior to some extent? What if every offender/perpetrator is also a real person who experiences life’s pain and suffering, too?

What if people who hurt other people experience shame and delusion and confusion and fear?

What if there are no “good people”? What if there are only people who try to get their needs met, a tiny fraction of whom have experience connecting with other people so that the other people’s needs are also met simultaneously?

What if everyone was raised by human parents and everyone internalized ways of seeing and understanding the world that have led them to behave as they do as adults? Wouldn’t that explain most people’s behavior to some extent? What if every person who has survived Trauma and every person who attempts to spread love and peace is also a real person who experiences life’s pain and suffering, too?

What if people who help other people experience shame and delusion and confusion and fear?

When people, in an attempt to get their own needs met, hurt other people, what if we responded with understanding and compassion to both parties to the extent possible? What if we considered it our responsibility to nonviolently nurture every person because they are human beings? What if we could face our fears and our shame and still be compassionate to one another? What if we could view every person and experience as a teacher or tutor? What if we could view every person as a student?

What if punishment and coercion were not tools in our toolkit of parenting, of justice, of morality? What if judgment were set aside because it is a lens? What if we viewed every person and each person’s action as an expression of their needs? What if love were our lens?

Surely, we would get our asses kicked on occasion. And with a lens of love, we could still take actions that acknowledged the humanity of every human, that valued the human experience of every person, that recognized that every adult was a child, that every adult’s experience was formed most via nurture and to some extent by nature.

What if we put down bad and good? What if we put down wrong and right? What if we looked for the unmet needs in every expression of pain? What if we looked at how meeting each other’s needs in a safe and reasonable manner resulted in Blessed Love and Connection not because it is an obligation or a transaction but because loving kindness is the only intention that is bound to lead to joy and a life worth living?

What if we took the time to reflect on our core values and shaped them with nearly as much attention as we give to our spreadsheets and our shopping and our strategies to get what we think we want? What if our core values guided us like headlights on a road with hairpin turns and patches of dense fog? What if we did not wait until we faced the decline of our days and the waning of our vitality to give attention to the inner-life that screams and claws for us to give it attention?

If we give attention to the Life and Truth that are already inside us waiting to be liberated like a butterfly in a cocoon, how much more authentic could we be living our lives? How much more confidently might we wake up and taste the nourishing breath of life? How much contentment might we feel by giving and receiving Blessed Love as our primary objective?

What if, when we experience humanness by hurting others and being hurt by others, we started reading this all over again to remind ourselves that bad and good are ideas we made to avoid tending our butterfly? What if we allow ourselves to make mistakes and give the same permission to others? What if we use those experiences to deepen our connections through discussing openly and vulnerably that which was alive in us when we make took those actions? We teach and we learn and we love blessedly. Our butterflies thrive, and life becomes a butterfly garden bursting with loving kindness and sweetness, and every mistake allows the collective garden to sink even deeper roots and reach even taller into the never ending sky.

18 thoughts on “What if there are no good or bad people?

  1. i don’t believe there are good or bad people. I believe people act out behaviours that may have positive, negative, or neutral effects on others, and behaviour patterns across the lifespan are driven by multiple complex factors.

    I agree that love and loving-kindness can be a constructive approach, but the flaw I see there is that in the end, only the individual in question determines their own behaviour and how to get those needs met. If someone continues to make destructive choices, and people around them don’t have clear boundaries, that’s likely to result in more harm being done.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. We keep thinking about keeping people safe. Trying to reconcile using violence as punishment when we have failed to protect people.

          Violence begets violence.
          Hatred never ceases hatred but by love alone is healed.

          If there is a way to put energy and resources into preventing violence, we want to do that.

          Instead of not protecting, say, people who cannot consent to sexual contact and then simply punishing perpetrators, how can we prevent perpetration?

          We really can’t 100%, and that doesn’t mean we can’t try. Instead of spending energy and resources on punishment, how do we channel resources into promoting love, into teaching people how to engage nonviolently? These are rhetorical questions mostly

          Liked by 2 people

          1. It would certainly be nice to see more work on prevention, and breaking the cycle of violence within families. Unfortunately, governments don’t tend to put a lot of money into areas where the effects are long-term and hard to quantify. There’s also the issue of when intervention needs to happen in terms of the age and composition of families, and at what point it becomes difficult to support people in a more positive direction because of the amount of damage already done.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. What if a pandemic wiped out most people and we started over…We’d probably reinvent the same problems because prevention is long-term and hard to quantify.

              Nihilism isn’t our most effective play, so spreading love will have to do for now

              We love you, Ashley 💕

              Liked by 1 person

  2. I like what Ashley’s said as I don’t believe there are good or bad people, it’s the choices they make that can be good or bad.

    There’s that saying that “sometimes good people do bad things and bad people sometimes do good things.

    There are no good or bad people. Instead, the vast majority of us are simply people who do some good things and some bad. A better understanding of this can help us adopt a more constructive and compassionate attitude toward people who do bad things.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this! I think there are very few intrinsically bad people. Most people are, as you say, human beings who are trying their best. And that forgiveness and understanding has to go to ourselves to. I’ve found it helps to see that others aren’t upset with me even if it feels that way.

    Love, light, and glitter

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I wish!!!! Writing to myself helped a lot. Like a really lot. I don’t have access to my other site else I would link you there. Actually on my site I have the letter to my future self. Writing to myself helped me access a part of myself that was, is, extremely compassionate. I wrote to the younger me at various ages. I’ve written more letters than i can count to myself. Just saying things like it’s okay. I luv ya (easier than I love you). I’m with you. You’re worth it. Hold on. It doesn’t matter what you did, you’re worth it etc. I can’t say I live with it for I don’t. But on the same hand I don’t live with the constant guilt and worthlessness either. I get triggered to the guilt, responsibility etc, but it’s not constant. It’s way easier to show others compassion then oneself. At least for me it is. But recognising it for others eventually helps me see it for myself. I can’t say I’m there, I can say I’m not where I was and it’s a journey getting there. Saying the same things over and over really helps. Or helped me. I see it in that I used to write every night – god, thank you for the gift of another day of life. I didn’t want life. Don’t know what I believe about god. Yet now I’m beginning to sometimes recognise it as a gift and see that the fake words I wrote nightly actually helped. Again rambling.
        I’m looking forward to reading the book you mentioned on someone’s blog (nonviolent communication, downloaded a later pdf version. You said something about it teaching emotions lol which, I’m not working on but would love to learn one day).
        Love, light, and glitter

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You have practiced a lot. We see beauty in that. It does feel easier to be compassionate to others. We try to use it as a gateway to us. When we can’t, we take some comfort in being a compassionate parent and spouse, when being that is available

          Yay to reading NVC!! Emotions, right? What the heck? We practice that. We practice nonviolence. It’s so against the grain that we must practice practice

          So fun to talk to you today 🌞

          Like

  4. What if we did not wait until we faced the decline of our days and the waning of our vitality to give attention to the inner-life that screams and claws for us to give it attention?

    Good point. And really interesting thoughts overall. I’ve been wondering many of these too.
    At the end of the day, I think all people want what’s best for them no matter what. For some of them that means doing some or a lot of good to others as well for some doing nothing for others, and some even find some pleasure by doing harm to others. And some just don’t care about others. But this is just my view.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, Maja. What amazing insight. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic. It does seem like doing what’s best for us might be our default or seem to be our default

      In Nonviolent Communication (marshall Rosenberg), the premise is that when people truly hear each other’s needs, they naturally want to fulfill each other’s needs.

      Marshall helped make this happen as he traveled to make peace all over the world.

      How do we get to that point—where we can express our needs, hear other’s needs, and want to fulfill each other’s (reasonable) needs because it’s a gift to do so?

      That’s why we read marshall’s books. And try to practice. What do you think?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think we have the problem with not hearing each others as well (I’m not a good listener either, but trying to improve). More posts like this, more people thinking this way, and we’ll get somewhere 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s