Being good is right, even if illegal

(My Clovis News Journal column for October 5, 2016 – from now until whenever, my CNJ columns will appear in the Wednesday paper.)

 Dare to be a good person (my chosen headline)

What is a good person, and why bother trying to be one? I define a good person as someone who doesn’t intentionally harm innocent people or their property, makes it right when they harm someone by accident, and who does their best, whenever possible, to help those who need it.

I can even be talked into scratching the part about helping others as long as no intentional harm is committed against the innocent. Mind your own business and don’t hurt anyone and you are most of the way there. I wish I could honestly say I always live up to my own standards.

Most people act fairly good the majority of the time. Why? Well, why do you, personally, act good? Do you behave yourself only because you are afraid you’ll be punished if you don’t? In that case, you aren’t good, but only pretending. Being good when you are afraid of consequences is empty. If a person refrains from attacking and stealing only because someone– whether human or supernatural– might punish them, they aren’t a good person.

But there is even more to it. Doing something just because the law says it’s OK, or even required, is not good. Obeying the law has nothing whatsoever to do with being a good person; often quite the opposite. Some of the best people are outlaws, and some of the worst are bad specifically due to their support for legislation which intentionally or incidentally harms the innocent. Such as ObamaCare, or the barbaric War on Politically Incorrect Drugs– the 21st Century version of Prohibition which they didn’t even bother to make quasi-lawful this time by amending the Constitution.

Allowing laws to stop you from doing the right thing is also not good.

How many people neglect to defend themselves or come to the aid of others because they are afraid of the legal trouble they could get in? How many fail to consistently carry the proper defensive tools just because government pretends to have the authority to regulate them?

How many people comply with legislation and taxes which destroy their ability to provide for themselves or help others financially? Opening a business is good; interfering with the free market is bad. Every business which never opens due to all the government fees, taxes, licenses, and red tape is a lost opportunity for good.

Why be good? Because it works, and is always the right thing to do, even when it’s illegal.

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My subscriptions are down about $65 from a year ago. That may not sound like much, but when you live on the edge as I do, it’s a lot. I desperately need to replace (or surpass) those subscriptions. 
A big “thank you!” to supporters of this blog. I probably couldn’t keep doing this without you.

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