This seemingly simple but complex question has haunted me for a very long time. I am not saying that i think about it constantly but every now and then something will trigger it and cause me to re-evaluate everything. I am sure that i am not the only one that has ever asked this question (it would be naive of me to even think it) but i believe that the question is really unanswerable, I mean who decides what is good or bad, there are no guidelines, no real rules.
The first paragraph is a little over dramatic and doesn't really say a lot but its important to give you an insight into my mindset and where i will be going with this.
Actually what i said before about that being the question that has haunted me was kind of a lie, i mean how can i even try to answer a question that i think you can't answer. The real question is, Am i a good person that does bad things or am i a bad person that does good things? This makes more sense to me as everyone can be both good and bad but you are one more then the other.
'That's the question that has screwed with my mind and lead me to do things that i can't otherwise justify. There are endless factors and variables that you have to take into account.....and because i have no idea where i am going with this sentence because it sounds like its just another way to delay the start, i am just going to start typing.
As a child i was brought up with a base in christian beliefs but as my parents were not regular church goers, the beliefs were not exactly drilled into me. In a way i am thankful for this because it meant that i could make up my own mind about morality and i had a more open perception of the world. Admittedly though this means that sometimes my moral compass has been a little off.
There was a time in my life when i was an asshole, that might sound like i am over exaggerating but i am just being honest. I don't know why i did what i did and when i look back sometimes it makes me cringe but you can't change the past, all you can do is learn from it. There was this one time at school that i was called into the counselor's office and was talked to about a student who had left our school because he was bullied. My name was mentioned as being one of the people that caused this. In the years surrounding and following this incident i had been in fights where the other person had needed medical attention, destroyed property and generally had no regard for other people. This went on for a while until i witnessed an event that made me think about my own mortality. It made me think about what i was doing and why. After that something changed, i didn't feel like one of the boys anymore so i walked away and started spending my time with friends that were more stable.
This is the first time i asked myself the question, the answer was no. So I started to work on changing myself, I wasn't exactly a goody good but i was a lot better then i was. Even tried to have a real relationship kind of mindset when it came to girls, admittedly one blew up in my face pretty bad and officially created 'The System". we will revisit that later but for now let me explain 'The Rules'.
'The Rules' are a kind of code that i live by. I had been living by most of them for years, others needed clarification and others needed to be added. If you know me then you probably have heard or seen some of them. They are no longer written down as they are burnt into my skull so that when the occasion arose i would know what was the right thing to do. Of course there are the basics, don't kill, don't shit where you eat (revised version of 'don't screw the crew'), don't swear where it could get you in trouble, don't steal, don't ever puke when drinking.....e.t.c Then there are the more personal and complex ones that i have learnt over the years such as, it is not the man who doesn't fight that has honor, it is the man that knows how to fight yet chooses not to. These have kept me mostly in check for a long time now, they allow me to stop and think before acting. Admittedly i still slip, i am only human but they have stopped things such as the time when i went to a dinner instead of a wake because i had promised before hand that i would go to the dinner. I thought that the most important thing was to keep my word.
"Who you are at fight club is not who you are in the rest of the world", this rule is code for 'The System'. It is a way to organize my life in a way that if something happens or goes wrong in one part of my life, it doesn't have a detrimental effect on other parts. Basically that means i keep everything separate, certain groups of friends i don't mix with others, family don't mix with certain friends, girls.. don't mix with any of them. That last one is the thing that i mentioned before, that blew up in my face. Basically we broke up, it was a little messy but because she was already in tight with some of my friends and family, she was still around a lot. That shit is not fucking cool. So that's why that was added to the system. Like 'The Rules' i was kind of living by this before i thought about it. When someone asked me about something i wanted to keep separate, i would say something like 'I have something to do' or 'i have to take care of something'. At first they mocked me for it, saying i was just trying to be mysterious but eventually because i always answered like this they stopped asking and accepted it.
'The System' is also used to protect myself against word of mouth. If you get a reputation, even if its a lie, then people look and you differently. Even if they figure out its not true, their mind can't disassociate it from you. You might think this is not a big deal but trust me, i have seen the damage it can do and the lasting effects. Think how hard it is to change when they all see and treat you as who you used to be or the reputation you have from the rumors they have heard. For me, this is one main reasons people fall back into old patterns, because no matter how hard you try and show people your not that guy, it doesn't matter. Is it so surprising that some eventually just say, so be it then.
I don't have a dramatic speech to end on about how i am trying really hard to be the Shepard in a bible passage that i have said for years because i thought it was a Badass thing to say before i kill a guy. What i can say is that i may fuck up, i may do or say things that i will end up regretting but i am trying. I hope one day i can say that i am a good person and mean it beyond a shadow of a doubt but that day is not today.
Please Note: For this post i don't want any comments or responses or anything. If you know me, i don't want to talk about anything in the post, DO NOT FISH FOR A DR PHIL MOMENT, you wont get one and i will not elaborate on anything.
It has just been on my mind for a very long time and i just needed to say something without having people know too much.