Mayukh Saha
Mayukh Saha
March 1, 2024 ·  9 min read

15 Qualities of a Good Person

What makes a person “good” overall? There are some features everyone likes. Cultural differences affect what people represent as good. The individual decides what makes a “good person.” We’ll mention many of these attributes when asked why some heroes were nice people.

1. Beyond Impulse: The Power of Prudent Choices

Good people are prudent. Prudence is the ability to decide if an activity is right at that moment. A cardinal virtue from Plato’s Republic, it’s one of four. Prudence also means having the strength to do something but not doing it when you could be self-indulgent now but use greater judgment later. Avoiding gaming and junk food to save for rent and expenses is one example. Spend a little on a treat, but prioritize responsibility over ephemeral pleasure.

2. Moderation, Not Misery: Unpacking Temperance

Temperance is moderation, not abstinence, as most people think.  Temperance implies finding the middle ground and balancing oneself in any situation. It includes self-discipline and self-awareness. You must recognize your strengths and weaknesses to find the balance between them. 

As a moderator, diplomacy is finding that elusive balance between saying what you need to say and respecting others’ opinions. Temperance for others may entail drinking a tiny drink when toasting but not becoming drunk, or enjoying cake without overindulging. Balanced and measured techniques allow you to experience and absorb everything without being overwhelmed.

3. Courageous Calm: Leading by Example in the Face of Fear

Many good individuals are brave. Courage is the ability to act despite fear. Knowing a tough, potentially dangerous work is ahead yet performing it because you must. This complements various other features. Integrity requires guts, for instance. Courage can come from trying a new workout, facing an intimidating individual, or facing something scary. The first level of courage is facing your fears.

Last, be a calm, inspiring force to others while sensing their fear. A high-ranking officer in a WWI trench was calm and confident while the troops around him were terrified. A young Private wondered how calm he was, and the commander said he had to bolster morale. He also knew the other soldiers were terrified, which somehow comforted him.

4. From Empathy to Action: The Essence of Compassion

Compassion goes beyond understanding pain. The urge to ease it is also there. One might empathize with a suffering person and pass by. We show compassion by helping others. Compassion is kindness at its core. We aim to aid others in need. We may show compassion for people, animals, plants, rivers, and anything in misery that we can alleviate.

When someone hurts you, and you help them in a kind, gentle way, you have the most compassion. Although an adult may yell at you or the hurt animal may bite you, you help. Compassion entails understanding another’s grief without increasing it, meeting their needs, and giving of yourself regardless of the consequences.

5. Giving from the Heart: More Than Material Possessions

Good people are generous. Share what you have with others who don’t. Sharing is crucial even if we have nothing extra. We can always give or share anything. This need not be money or possessions. People with little money might be quite giving up on their time. They can volunteer with seniors or charities. Or they can teach others who want to learn. 

Being generous implies giving from the heart without expecting anything in return or controlling others. You provide these presents without expecting anything in return. The poor are frequently the most charitable because they know what it’s like to have nothing. They’re the most generous and willing to help.

6. The Art of Patience: Embracing Calmness in a Hurried World

This is a highly admired but challenging trait to implement. This may be because few of us are patient. We prefer our schedule. Because of this, we get upset and annoyed when things don’t go our way.

Therefore, we must remember that the world does not revolve around our demands and schedules. This chess board has billions of players dancing intricately. We must accept that we are all gears in the system and will turn when our time comes. Remember that impatience can bring much harm. People can only do their best, and being impatient with people less capable than us might make them feel terrible about themselves. They may get traumatized and injured. 

When crossing the road quickly, be patient with the grandma or youngster because they can’t keep up. Instead of helping, you may damage them if you leave quickly. Even when angry, patience lets you respond calmly. Avoid tantrums when waiting. And to not whine about delays.

7. Beyond Manners: Cultivating Genuine Respect

Good people show respect. When we say respect, we mean several things. This encompasses respecting others, oneself, life, nature, etc. Respect can include tolerance, admiration, appreciation, and acknowledgment.

We may respect the environment by not littering or polluting water. We may respect housemates by realizing that they live differently from us and not projecting our behavior onto them. We can respect our bodies by eating healthy and exercising, and exhibit self-respect by avoiding shameful habits. 

We respect personal and social limits and don’t cross them for self-gratification. We believe everyone is perfect, sovereign, and precious. Thus, we don’t degrade or mistreat people. They talk, we listen, and we respect their decisions. It takes little effort to make others feel seen and heard, yet it changes their world.

8. Beyond “Live and Let Live”: Embracing Understanding and Tolerance

Tolerance means recognizing that people think, act, or live differently without trying to change them. Simply put: live and let live. Instead of criticizing others, try to comprehend other cultures, races, religions, and creeds. This distinguishes tolerant individuals from those who wish to start the next witch hunt. It was witches in 1600. Amerindians in the 1800s. It was Jews in the 1930s. There will be another target group for people’s ire in 200 years. Avoid that bandwagon. Better than that, we are.

9. Moral Compass in Action: Choosing Integrity Over Personal Gain

A nice individual acts ethically. Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching. Maintaining your morals and ethics despite others’ opinions and influences. Especially when hard. Imagine finding a valuable artifact while building. The mud holds a centuries-old gold ring, and you’re making minimum wage. Nobody saw it but you. You could make a lot of money selling it. But you acknowledge its historical relevance.

Your integrity would require you to submit the ring to the local coroner or Finds liaison officer for investigation. You may get less than you would have made pawning it, but you know it’s right. You did it anyway, even though not required.

10. Beyond Integrity: The Power of Commitment

This one builds on integrity differently. Commitment means keeping your word, even when it is hard. This may involve enduring a job or project you detest because you promised someone. It could be being loyal to a lover despite your non-monogamous tendencies because you promised. Because you promised, you’ll follow through. Trustworthy people maintain their promises. Your community, friends, and family cherish and respect you as a word-keeper.

11. Honesty: The Bedrock of Trust and Respect

Often, decent people are honest. If someone lied to you, would you trust them again? How could they not lie to you about everything else if they lied to you then? People value honesty, especially when it’s hard. For instance, when we make a huge mistake at work but own it, admit it, and fix it. Our employers and peers will regard us more if we don’t cover it up or blame others.

People even like painful honesty. Honesty regarding a difficult topic or situation shows that someone cares enough not to betray trust. Of course, how truth is shared matters. Our tone and words might be compassionate rather than caustic or damning. Long-term good transformation or trauma might result from truth delivery.

12. Equality Over Ego: Humility’s Core Principle

You know the type who brags about their greatness? Humility opposes that. Humility is believing everyone is equal, regardless of popularity, fortune, titles, or accomplishments. Those who think they’re better than others treat others poorly. Since they think they’re exceptional, they expect greater treatment and to insult others. Instead, a humble person cares for and respects others. They accomplish great philanthropic work without telling anyone. They act for the greater good, not for acclaim.

13. Beyond Muscles: The Quiet Power of Inner Strength

A decent person is mentally and emotionally strong, not physically. One can exhibit strength gently yet unyieldingly. Consider Gandhi’s hunger strike. Despite his agony, he had to suppress his appetite to work towards positive change. Hannibal and Marcus Aurelius demonstrated great fortitude by keeping everyone together on a long journey. 

Anne Frank and Mother Teresa were strong amid terrible circumstances. Despite the horrors they saw and experienced, they still loved and cared for others. I’m sure you’ve noticed that strength and courage go together. Since strength is adaptable, it’s not always projective. 

Strength typically powers other attributes in this list. You may show great strength by maintaining integrity when others are doing anything against your values. Standing for what’s right can be life-threatening. Being true to yourself requires great character and willpower. 

14. Beyond Infatuation: True Love’s Many Faces

There are various sorts of love, yet Westerners only use one word. We generally know romantic love or parent-child love. But we can also love humans or the environment wholeheartedly. When we work towards others’ pleasure, health, success, and independence, we love.

Some mistake infatuation for love. Or possession. Someone may adore someone because they think they’ll satisfy them. They may also enjoy a pet, house, or other thing that provides them joy. Instead, we want someone we love to be happy. 

Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski discusses “fish love.” Most people define “love” as meeting their needs. An individual who eats fish because he enjoys it. He boiled and ate his fish because he loved it. He loves himself and thinks the fish will satisfy him. He would want the fish to swim joyfully and live well if he liked it. Real love is about giving, not receiving.

15. The Inner Compass: Intuitions Whisper of Right and Wrong

Your intuition tells you when you’ve done well or wrong. If you do anything and feel guilt or disgust, you know you didn’t act in love or respect. Maybe you did something shady for yourself. Or your selflessness benefited you more than the other person. In contrast, doing something ethical and compassionate makes you feel light. A pleasant glow will fill you, and you may cry. Like a shining pebble in a pond, you know your acts will have lasting good effects. Light travels with every wave.

The Tapestry of Goodness: Weaving Together the Threads of Character

“Good” is not one packed garment; it is a rich and colorful blanket woven from multiple filaments. It proceeds from the least between the cautiousness of well-weighed action and the strength of recognizing feelings and one’s self, these qualities in combination bring a person’s life meaning and purpose.

The ‘Exploration’ mentioned above has covered the points of at least 15 varied threads and the path to personal excellence being ever-evolving, remember that this journey is endless. Grab and use these two qualities, face your challenge, and see the true colors of yourself emerge to be one great fabric made up of goodness and kindness. Be mindful that each governed action of mercy, honesty, and love is durable. Every ripple ignited will spread out reaching the entire world and bringing forth life to it.

Consequently, let yourself go as you set out on this self-discovery journey of your life and of course do this with passion and purpose. The universe longs for admission to the radiance and the diversity that your multi-colored masterpiece can usher in.

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