Dimensions of GOOD
Many are the thinkers who have treated good as an idea. The conclusions have not always been the same (You know how philosophers are). This is strange given the fact that goodis an idea we deal with in every day activity—it is also what we all claim we represent. The consensus appears to be that; it is relative and only determined by the context of particular circumstances. What may be good for the goose may not be good for the gander after all. And what may be good today may not be good tomorrow. But don’t let me rock the boat too hard.
Think about this for a second; a person seeking justice will be very quick to point out that what is good for the goose is good for the gander and he may be right. But he will say so only because it helps his cause—it preserves his existence in one way or another. A person who is actually in the wrong, will refer to a judgement in his favour as good—it helps his cause. So in a typical scenario of opposing forces, there might be different definitions of what is good as it will be dependent on the cause it helps (in Plus-Thinking, we explore this notion in more detail). This may perhaps be the reason utilitarians turned to the idea of the general good i.e. that which promotes the larger cause of society though at the expense of one of its sub-components. This means a sacrifice of the individual for the larger good (perhaps that rings a bell).
While I personally like the idea of the general good, many of the scenarios that result from it are nothing short of petrifying. But I am digressing again aren’t I; the point of this article is to find a more humanly digestible understanding that can be applied in your daily activities as you map your way to high performance in your occupation and larger existence.
There are two levels to good which must be complied with if your output is to qualify as good. First is your very person; a good person is likely to produce a good product. This is based on the presumption that, a good person has good intentions and therefore creates good products. A beneficiary will describe your output as good because it helps their cause. But the question that arises is; is their cause good? The answer to that will be a resounding yes if we presume that the beneficiary is a good person who has good intentions. So that the goodness of the product is not simply because it serves a purpose well but more because the purpose it serves is good. We have seen that the larger good—the good that benefits the larger society is the ultimate good that must be aspired to. So that if the product meets the needs of the larger society is some way, it will be because it was put in place by a good person who by our understanding is good only because he has the needs of the larger society at heart even at the expense of his comfort.
Now, let’s not get carried away with the utilitarian thinking of which I am not exactly an aficionado by any stretch of the imagination. I am more the God kind of guy who, instead of saying larger good, will be happier placing God (the repository of all good) in the center of things much to the displeasure of one Richard Dawkins. If God is the repository of all goodness, then we must see how complying with his interest is what makes a good person who of necessity will put out a product that must meet the God standard. In effect, the single goodness of God when accepted makes a good person who puts out a good product that meets the need of the larger society.
We have seen from our research at the CSD that the high performing individual is a certain kind of personality with specific character traits (I shall treat this thought in more detail in a coming paper) which is akin to those proposed by scripture. Indeed we are yet to encounter any religion or spiritual path for that matter; that does not advocate goodness as the best way to exist. They all seek to develop devotees into such a personality. This substantiates the fact that any maximization of existence must begin with goodness and that the degree of goodness in that order determines the extent of the maximization of existence.
The high performing individual is a good guy. The better you are as a person the better your output and the better your life will be—all things being equal. It will be difficult to describe something as best without first passing it through the good stage. Be good at what you do but also do it for a good reason because you are a good person. After good comes better and best #spidup