Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Is being good bad?

I always looked upon people in control of their emotions with respect. My mother was one of them. As children we never ever could answer her back or get away with saying anything under the sun. She was mild mannered, soft spoken and never encouraged us to judge people. Not only my mother but her sisters and brother were a nice lot so we grew up without actually witnessing ugly scenes and heated arguments. How such a mild mannered person could discipline us without raising her voice is something I wonder about to this day. I do feel tempted to pat myself on the back and claim that it was possible only because we were obedient children. But though 21 of us share a common gene pool (or at least 50% of it) as cousins, the permutation and combinations could not be identical. So I wonder, how then are we all the same when it comes to core issues?

My children however have a different take on the matter.

“How very boring it must have for you as a child! What a dull existence. See the spice I added to your life as a teenager. Your mom never had the pleasure.” Says my son.

“It is difficult to deal with an overdose of goodness. It seems so abnormal. Imagine being well behaved all the time!”

“Your home must have been like an extended hostel! No wonder you adjusted well to hostel life.”

I am not so sure about that. We too had our share of simple pleasures without having threatened to slit each others throats and my mother may not have encouraged arguments but we did voice contradictory opinions when required. I must admit that I could not discipline my children with silence as my mother had done. They felt free to quarrel and patch up, to listen to loud music and to play as much as they wanted as long as their school reports were decent enough and there were no physical injuries.

I often wonder whether my children were right in saying that being too good is bad. Whether in this world where might is right, a little aggression actually helps one deal with the competitive world that awaits them? Have the rules changed or was the world always a random assortment of different kinds of people, some aggressive and others mild but most just moderate?


Joy said...

HHG, Great to have to back and to read your posts.

I know few people who seem to be very calm at all times. With due respect to all, I would like to say the following:
1. They seem very happy and contended.
2. They like simple life and do not want to take risk.
3. They know what to expect from life and have no qualms whatever it gives. They accept everything happily.

Me, to be honest have not reached that state of mind. I do have my desires and ambitions which puts me in different states of emotions.
I know I can never lead a life like them, accepting life as it comes. I have my own expectations and would do everything within my capacity to have them.

I also know we have our own ways of living and choosing life and there is no one correct way.

Srijith Unni said...

Being all good, is so boring at times, HHGmom, the light hearted fun, in bickering, gossiping, fighting, roaming around and being naughty, is what definitely makes our life multidimensional.

At the same time, a calm and mild demeanor is also required to have a peaceful life, without losing out upon the holistic side of life.. I think it`s a trade-off..!

Nice to see you back..! Keep Blogging..!

Have Fun, Take Care and God Bless..!

With Best Regards,

Itchingtowrite said...

we were quite "boring" as children... going by as your kids wud put it and my kids hav added too much of spice to my life.... well to each their own . i can never fathom how come mild mannered people give birth to naughty kids, my aunt being another example

Tys on Ice said...

I so identify with u on the growing up part...i too was fortunate to grow up in an environment of quiteness...there were never any scenes, just quite rebuke...amma cud and can express her displeasure by silence..i guess we were ( we are 3 sons) more tuned in and not caught up with only ourselves...

But this didnt mean that, we were a bunch of saints..the family had a great way of dealing with any situation : humour...we wud laugh abt anything : my collage drug use, my brothers divorce, my fathers heart attack...everything...nothing was sacred or out of limits...as long as we cud laugh we were ok...

I still find tantrums and hysteria offsetting my balance...but i guess each one has their own way of coping with life..

vishesh said...

hmmm...geez...i seriously donno :)

Hip Grandma said...

joy:It takes all sorts of people to make the world an interesting place to live in.there'd be no progressed if all were calm and satisfied with their lot.

srijith:It is the multidimensional nature of life that keeps it going.

ITW:Yes the ground rule is that if the mother is agressive children are mild.But we were an exception.My children were not exactly aggressive but were quite independant minded.

Tys on ice:Each family is unique and the 'best' for the person concerned.Like you I too find tantrums annoying.

Hip Grandma said...

vishesh:you are too young.Don't bother about my philosophy.Enjoy life the way you find appropriate as long as it does not harm you or others.

Just Like That said...

I think its just that each successive generation is getting to be
less patient, less tolerant, less softspoken...
and more independent, more assertive, more enterprising..

Sometimes I feel the olden days were better- life was more peaceful then..
And now I know for sure I am growing old..:-D

Sunita said...

I have heated arguments with siblings, mom & even hubby. I am not sure if it is good and adds spice but I always wish after one of it that maybe I could have conveyed it better in a non-agressive manner.

shark said...

I have to agree with your son..
being good all the time may not be "bad"... but definitely boring ;-)!

Hip Grandma said...

JLT:Each generation says the same about the next one.Then the gen next calls us oldies and we feel baad!

sunita:I too feel that heated arguments don't help but I too have had my fair share of being on the doling and receiving end of a heated argument.And to be frank I never found either satisfying.

shark:Good people do unnerve you and it is easier to deal with the less 'god like' characters.

Loga said...

I have been a silent reader for a long time..Nice to see you back..
Being too good sometimes back fires and also boring...I I compare with my sis, I have been all goody and she was always the opposite and my family finds her interesting;-)..Sometimes the other side is not boring

Hip Grandma said...

loga:welcome here.I too have felt the same.But aggression does not come to me however hard I try.I plan to say this and that but when the actual time comes I become as meek as a lamb and try to understand the other side of things,and /or grin and bear it.We are all made the way we are.

kurrodu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kurrodu said...


Mischief need not always have to rise out of disobedience. I don't remember having quarrels with my siblings but we still had lots of memorable moments. Okay, that might sound strange but it is true. Coming to your question,.. I agree that one has to be aggressive in today's competitive world but this has always been relevant and not specific to our times. Aggression which rises out of greed doesn't help even in today's world. It is a balanced mind with a deep, underlying patience that ultimately gets to lead.

hillgrandmom said...

I don't think being 'good' is boring! It depends on what you classify as 'good' doesn't it? If 'being good' means obeying someone's else's idea of goodness, then it would certainly be boring. But if you do something cos you know it's good and not to please anyone, it can never be boring. As for aggressiveness vs passiveness, well, let me quote "they also serve who only stand and wait."
Takes all kinds to make the world!