Just what makes someone a good person?

It could be people who follow the laws. Or it could be people who don’t make waves, are kind, the list could go on and on. Some may say these people are “goody two shoes,” who don’t have fun, are too serious and are religious.

On the other hand, people who are loud, disruptive, boisterous and disrespectful are bad people.

Law-abiding citizens are good people. Criminals are not good people. Can someone who is good become bad by making a mistake? Are we all subject to making a poor judgment, or doing something foolish, or careless, or even just stupid?

We’re all human and not perfect. Does this make us bad, when we do any of the mentioned activities? No, it just proves we are human. We need to learn from our mistakes, as most of us do.

Do our faith and beliefs make us good? Probably, but nothing is guaranteed. Just because we say we believe and go to church every Sunday, doesn’t make us good. Do we actually live our faith? Some, probably the vast majority of believers, do. There are atheists and agnostics who are good people; they just don’t believe in God. This doesn’t make them bad. What about those who believe and do not go to church regularly? Can one be good and not go to church? Certainly, if they follow the teachings of their beliefs.

Everyone has good points and bad points in their lives. Positives and negatives, how we deal with the good and bad is what makes us who and what we are.

People have good days and bad days, that is a fact of life. How do we handle a bad day? Do we whine and complain and blame others, or try to overcome what has happened? Sometimes there is nothing we can do, the situation is out of our hands, through no fault of our own.

Every individual is different — as every event is different — and people will react to this in different ways. Different doesn’t mean wrong or bad. Critical comments aren’t always appropriate or even necessary. Who are we to decide what is right or wrong? Good or bad?

People should just live their lives and not try to force others to follow their way of thinking. If our lifestyle depends on laws to protect it, maybe it isn’t good or proper, and not necessarily bad. People don’t need activists or the government to determine what is right or wrong, or good or bad. That should be an individual decision. Special interest groups don’t always have the answer to every problem and issue.

We have the freedom to be good people or bad people, to do good or bad things. It is an individual choice. What is good for one, may be bad for another. Just leave it be, live your life and mind your own business.

Herb Dettmer is a retired Bowling Green resident, U.S. Army veteran and writes this column representing the viewpoint of “Joe Average” citizen. He is freelance writer and author of “Others,” a devotional book. Call or text “Joe” with comments at 419-494-4641.