While it’s easy to point out our many flaws (we think about them almost every second of the day), turn it around and it’s almost impossible to write a three-paragraph blog post over the positive characteristics of ourselves. In this way, I guess everyone has at least one good characteristic to start out with: humility. However, after a deep self-evaluation I’ve managed to come up with some others.
First, I tend to always see the the good side in people. My friends have questioned me multiple times about why I befriend the people I do asking daily “why do you hang out with that person?” Although it might be mind-boggling to some why I choose to associate myself with the people I do, the answer is really quite simple. I always identify the good side in people even if their entire reputation is built on being bad. While in certain circumstances, this ability may instead come off as naivité, I believe that instead it has allowed me to discover a whole new side in people that in turn lets me learn more about myself. Some of the people that I talk to that may have the worst reputations have ended up being some of my closest friends that I have learned to trust the most. Overall, this has helped me become a more objective person. I don’t judge others very often based off of what other people tell me, and this has lead to my discovering of the true character of these people with “bad reputations,” and even better it has helped me learn more about myself.
My tendency to find the good side in people even when everyone tells me to default to the bad, has other effects that materialize not only in school and around my friends. We live in a hyper-judgmental society. People are viewed differently because of the implicit biases and values we are taught to learn from a young age. You’re judged on your sexuality, your appearance, your intelligence, your income, whether you’ve been to a “good college,” how many friends you have, and so many other things that when looking back at it don’t seem as important as others make it out to be. However, since I always tend to find the good side in people, this allows me to empathize with those that are judged also. In other words, I avoid accepting society’s over-arching generalizations of certain groups of people. This means that I tend to look at the totality of circumstances, what a person goes through, what certain environment they grew up in, and what may have caused them to become the way they are rather than just stamping a generalization on them. This is something I think our society needs to work on as a whole. We need to understand that not everyone is born in the same circumstances (some are disadvantaged while others aren’t), and we need to learn how to create empathy: something that our world lacks.