I’m Not a Good Person (Lies From Those We Love)


Fabian De Soto

Fabian De Soto, The Paisano

Nick Garza, Staff Writer

It’s three in the morning and I’m walking home from another long night of bad decisions. On my way back to my apartment I see a plastic bag on the ground, so I pick it up. A few minutes later I see some trash left at a table outside, so I pick that up as well. Walking up to my building I see my neighbor. “What’s in the bag?” I tell him it’s trash. “Aye, good guy Nich.” I walk up to my room and scream at myself. I’m not a good guy. I don’t deserve the label. I deserve to burn.


I’ve tricked a lot of people into thinking I’m something I’m not. I don’t always do it on purpose, but it happens nonetheless. Picking up trash left outside just seems like the thing to do. Trying to do right by the people I care about seems like the thing to do. Showing unrelenting kindness in the face of hate and fear seems like the thing to do. So I do it all, but it doesn’t make me a good person. I have to think about it. Good people just do good things. I have to convince myself it’s the right thing to do. I don’t have integrity. I act different in front of my friends so they don’t think I’m an asshole. But I am one. I’ve done so much wrong, hurt so many people, ruined so many good things that could’ve been – I can’t possibly see myself as a good person now. How long can I keep up this charade? How long will it be before they see beyond the mask I put on and come face to face with the evil, plotting monster that lies beneath? 


What is a person? Do we exist solely in our minds, or are there infinite versions of us that always exist, endless possibilities we can call upon with diligence and mindfulness? I subscribe to the latter theory, but I also think there’s more to it than that. Multiple versions of “you” exist in the hearts and minds of every person you’ve ever come into contact with. Every individual person’s perception of you lives on in their heart, but those you’s are shaped by your experiences with others. There are people who think you’re a saint, and people who know you’re going straight to hell when you die. None of these are any less true than the other though. They’re simply parts of you that exist in the world right now. All of them are equally you, as are all your actions. Every good or bad thing you’ve done is equally you, so where does that leave you? If everything that’s happened will always have happened, how can you look in the mirror and see anything but an abomination in the eyes of God?


There’s no such thing as a good or bad person. There’s only people. We are inherently empty of meaning or purpose. We don’t come into this world with much, but that means we get to decide what kind of people we’ll become for ourselves. No matter what you’ve done in the past, your actions will always have happened. If you can learn to forgive yourself and find your way out of that damp, cold labyrinth in your mind, you can be anything. You can be anyone. We all hold infinite possibilities within us, so let’s not act so tied to what’s already happened.