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What is Good

What is Good



|Views: 9,852 |Likes:
Published by Tom Matlack
The fact that goodness is illusory makes it all the more important to talk about.
The fact that goodness is illusory makes it all the more important to talk about.

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Published by: Tom Matlack on Jun 29, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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What Is Good?
The fact that goodness iselusory makes it all the moreimportant to talk about.
There have been many times I wished we had left the“good” out of our title. “The Man Project” would haveworked just fine. Or even “Dudes,” or “Why,” to playoff our genetic code.But from the start “good” has been our cross to bear.With so many men in the public eye called out for badbehavior, men and women both seem to have a thirstfor a different paradigm of manhood–something freshand real and, yes, good. Thus, our Project was born.The problem, of course, is that talking aboutgoodness is like asking an Eskimo to describe snow–it’s nearly impossible to pin down. Goodness is harder to define than badness, which may be one reasonwhy as a culture we have been spending so muchtime talking about men being bad rather than good.Things get even muddier when you start talking about“good” husbands and “good” fathers. The slopetowards righteousness is slippery indeed. I am writingabout goodness, so, therefore, I am better than you.
Nothing could be further from the truth. I have noclaim to the high moral ground. Still, the expectationof many readers is that if you are going to found aProject around goodness, you better at least have aworking definition to follow.That’s the fundamental rub: how to talk aboutgoodness without coming off like God and without judging others. Especially when my own life has beenfilled with mistakes along the way.Goodness is an aspiration. It’s something you can seein others and follow. But it comes in as many differentshapes and sizes as there are people. You can’tname it once and for all. That doesn’t make it any lessimportant. The very elusiveness of goodness, I wouldargue, makes it all the more important to think aboutand sort out on your own terms.I have often said that my own definition of being agood man is loving my wife passionately, showing upfor my kids and doing something to help somebodyelse. But that still leaves out a lot.To me, another part of being good is the discovery of seemingly completely random gifts. For example, Ican get pretty much any kid under the age of 2 to fallasleep in my arms. I dove into a lake at summer campwhen I was 10 and beat a field of well-trainedswimmers by more than a body length over 100yards. In business school our statistics professor 

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Mike trololsas liked this
Merzouk Farahi added this note
Good & goodness are philosophically-rooted terms that need obviously deep research at all levels
David Philips added this note
The sense of being really good at something requires a discovery process that has nothing to do with moral judgment and everything to do with the thing itself. I couldn't agree more with that, in a paragraph beautifully, like mathematics at its best, to define goodness in a way Plato might have found as good. If only we lived now and on into the future, in a republic where all can live this out.
Gilbert Bautista liked this
geomy liked this
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Itc Anoopam Mission added this note
good work

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