The Good, The Bad, And The Healthy

Being a good person is certainly a subjective thing. Not just being a good person either for that matter, but just being a person anywhere on the planet. We are all thrust into the world, unable to choose our nation of origin, family, or mental and physical aptitudes, just to rattle off a few of the things we’re all well aware of what is beyond our realm of choice. That said, what’s tough to define is just ‘good’ itself. For some people, just not doing anything bad is perfectly acceptable as evidence of being a good person. For others, it is not enough to simply do no harm to be considered good, but you have to actively go out and try to make other peoples’ lives or the world itself a better place in general.  But then that’s just the common ethical or moral understanding of good, there’s also the always important occupational ‘good.’ Take, for example, this quote below from the late great Paul Rand.


Some people might take this quote the wrong way and see some negative aspect to it, but I don’t see it as meaning something like “lower your expectations.” I’d argue it’s about just focusing on the present especially when starting out in an industry like graphic design, walk the balanced line of confidence and humility, focusing on doing the best you can, and the rest will fall into place. © Kristian Bjornard.

Now having a good (or perhaps the better word is ‘healthy’) relationship with your family members, friends, co-workers, and neighbors, that can be an entirely different issue. I suppose it depends, varying from person to person, whether it’s easier to build healthier relationships or be an emotionally healthy individual, (and which of the two can help you build on the other more!) but I tend to find it easier to get along with others than to get along with myself.


I like this quote, it can be taken out of context and say “closeness creates tension” but I’d say it’s more about having a healthy distance with people you don’t necessarily have to be all that close with, like say for instance, neighbors and co-workers.© Ricardo.

Nothing wrong with being a warm and friendly person though of course, I’d be a huge hypocrite if I said there was anything wrong with that! I think that, in the case of things like trying to learn multiple languages, or a musical instrument, sport, or any particular skill or craft, it is always best to start young. Those formative years require the most support and nurturing, without being overprotective or overbearing. It’s a tough line to walk but it does pay off.


I can’t imagine a better closing argument than a quote from Aristotle. © QuotesEverlasting.

Fun Is Subjective So Play Nice

What defines happiness and fun or entertaining or fulfilling is something that varies from person to person.  You have the short lived forms of happiness such as your preferred choice of candy or a cool breeze during a hot and humid summer afternoon, that just don’t last as long as we’d like and don’t offer something like true and lasting fulfillment.  But then again, you can always find a person who is an aficionado of candies who finds a more full enjoyment of sweets than the average person, recalling memories of childhood or perhaps feeling a satisfaction in discerning the different flavors and textures, much like a professional food critic.  Or perhaps someone can find a fuller appreciation of a cool breeze after dealing with an extremely uncomfortable heat wave that has been sapping the life and love out of everything its path. For the most part, people are often able to find the most happiness and deep sense of fulfillment through the relationships they develop with their families or friends, and a faith or whatever system of beliefs that they subscribe to consider as the lens through which they view the world.  But remember, this too is subject to great variation, but this itself can be a fun part of being a person, exploring different interests and getting out of your comfort zone to discover yourself, what you like and dislike, what makes you happy or unhappy and what can bring you a deeper sense of happiness, peace and contentment.


Above you can see a classic image of what defines fun for a large percentage of the world, particularly in the west.  Beaches and all water front property are exceptionally valuable as business and tourism centers because they’re just so beautiful and comfortable to live near, though certainly not as busy as a city and the risk of having a flooded home equates to serious consideration of flood insurance, the joy of sunbathing at your leisure just can’t be beat, can it?  Or visiting the multitude of other attractions, typically in the form of carnivals, fairs, amusement parks, and of course if you’re a gamer there are always video game arcades and activity centers.  But that’s still just a short list of what to do in one type of activity, there are sure to be people out there who don’t care for any of it, and that’s just fine, they aren’t crazy, they’re probably more of an intellectual, athletic or creative-minded person that isn’t interested in fulfillment through relaxation, but something more active. Being a good person is certainly a subjective thing. Not just being a good person either for that matter, but just being a person anywhere on the planet.

Since there is such variation with what can cause someone a little bit of happiness, its healthy if you exercise empathy and remember that because there are so many people on the planet, not everyone will enjoy the same things, and moreover, remember that the human experience is a subjective one so no one will ever enjoy something in just the exact same way that you do.  So try not to judge too harshly and end what could be a great friendship if you make a connection with someone whose favorite sports team has a rivalry with yours.  I think we can all count our lucky stars that there isn’t any extensive violence after the World Cup every year, right?


Now here’s a classic example of entertainment, a live music concert.  And with the quite popular band Fun no less.  Kind of appropriate for this post, wouldn’t you say?  One personal recommendation from this author, for the next concert you decide to attend, don’t waste your money on the beer that’s sold there, the price mark-up is ridiculous, and more importantly, you’ll remember and enjoy the memory of the concert a great deal more if you’re sober during your attendance.  Now the after party is another story, and I won’t push my recommendations there because a party is one of those things you can just cut loose and be yourself in.  Just be sure to have fun responsibly and don’t do anything you won’t be able to remember well enough to regret, and your mind and body will thank you later.

The above photos come to us courtesy of members of

First image credit: Orange County Archives.

Second image credit: Robert Ramirez.