The African or Nigerian in all of us has thought us to assume that anyone who smokes, drinks, parties, wears sexually revealing clothes and talks loosely is not a good person. It also taught us that a person who goes to church or mosque constantly is a better and more trustworthy person that a person that does not. Also it says that once you are not doing good in school or not concentrating on your studies, you are bound to be a failure in life.
This is the “home training” that was instilled in almost all of us as children. While some of us have taken the logical path to unlearn some or all of these believes, others still hold it dear and tight, never to let go. So when they see you doing any of the above, they judge you at the slightest chance, assume you have not been raised right and lacks “home training” therefore can not be a good person.
Nonetheless, we have seen people who have dedicated all their days to religion and still put their neighbours, friends, family, and partner through hell on a daily basis. We have also seen chain smokers, addicted party goers and even alcoholics who are better humans and live a more reasonable life than their opposites. We have seen people of questionable character do amazingly good things that the ordinary people do not have the heart to do.
So who is a good person and who has been raised right? Is it the person who acts all good and well behaved on the outside but is stone hearted on the Inside or the person who lives their life freely the way they like and have a good heart? In as much as the personal behaviours and characters listed above affects the human reasoning and how they fare to theirself, it does not affect thier attitude towards fellow humans, Except they were already bad before picking them up.
Being raised right does not only mean when you don’t drink, smoke party or talk dirty. How about your manners and respect for the person next to you? How do you approach, talk to or reply the people you interact with every day? Do you even respect yourself talk less of others? Do you beat her up simply because she is a woman? You fight just anybody simply because you know how to throw punches and wield weapons? How about defrauding others of thier hard earned money? How do you even relate with your elders? Being raised right is not just being an introvert but also treating people respectfully right and doing the right things at the right time.
Being a good person is not only when you take religion seriously and act all saintly on the outside. It is about your heart, how you perceive others, how you treat the people around you and how you impact the lives you encounter daily. You can not be a devout Christian, be putting your house help through hell and you claim to be good. You can’t be a die hard muslim and lack human sympathy then claim to be a good person. Goodness is not how much Jesus or Allah you proclaim but how much your fellow humans feel your impact.
There is a need for us to redefine what we define as good and bad both in us as individuals and in the society. That will help us look inward and make the appropriate changes starting from ourselves, which will then go ahead to affect the people around us and the world at large.