A good person

What makes you think you are a good person or do you not really care?

Going to church and putting your pound in the pot each week? Doing your John Smith service.

Interlude: John Smith was a tutor in a college. We are talking an all boys’ college back when women’s education was vague. John Smith started as a young tutor and stayed at the college until he retired. He was liked by everyone, never married and lived in a flat in the grounds.

It was noted that when John Smith retired he would go to the library and read through the role of honours. Quietly saying the name of each of the students in turn. The headmaster asked why he did his and he replied, “I pray for each boy that I have taught and for those taught by others that they may be safe in the eyes of God. This is my service as I can no longer teach.”

Now I don’t know how true this story is but it was told to us from the pulpit in church on a cold Sunday morning. I liked the story and the discussion that lunch time was the service we give to God. You have to remember that I am not a believer in God, never was, I went to church with my daughter to teach her, so that she may learn and have an informed choice. My faith lays elsewhere.

I think I’m a good person, but I have a terrible temper, I can be lazy and I swear like a trooper. I do stupid things and I’m not the type of girl you take home to meet your mother, unless of course your mother happens to be like my late mother-in-law. She wasn’t the type of mother-in-law you took home to meet your God-fearing strict father. I loved her to bits.

I do my service to the community, not because I have to, but because it’s the right thing. I don’t pray and I don’t pretend to be a Christian, not even for an hour a week whilst sitting in a holy place. What makes me a good person is the people around me. It’s true, choosing your friends is a tricky business and their way of life reflects on you. This week I’ve felt like a mirror freshly polished out in the glorious sunshine. It’s all been a bit surreal.

I’m a good person, honest Gov, it wasn’t me that put crickets in the next-door neighbours’ bins. I did however watch him get Rentokil out because he thought he had cockroaches.

I am a good person, I’m a charm to be with. Ok so I stopped the gorgeous young man with the bulging muscles, in the middle of the street so that I could tell him he had a wonderful body. I did cop a feel, and I was with another man at the time, and it wasn’t my husband.

Yes, I may have upset the waitress at the restaurant when I ask her to take my meal back and get me what I had ordered. I paid for it didn’t I. I was polite, I didn’t growl, well not much.

This section is to be left blank. There is something I want to moan about, but I’ve been taught that if I have nothing good to say about someone then I shouldn’t say anything at all. I’ve typed it up, deleted it and will now leave a gap.

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The gap should be bigger than that but I got bored with waiting for you to read between the lines and I want to carry on with my story.

I’ve been out with brilliant people. The quiet one, the giggly one, the one that makes my brain ache with all his knowledge, the one that I love being with just because she is a good person, and of course my Mark. (PS we haven’t been out to dinner for ages….just a hint)

Each one of these friends is a good person. They have been here for me, and helped me when I have needed them. I’m hoping that in the keeping of good people that I can be a good person too. Ok I might have to stop grabbing young men, the swearing might need to be dialled down a bit, but I don’t think I have to be a Christian to do the right thing. Put that sentence at the end of the gap I’ve left.

It has got to me, being berated for being who I am and hearing the words, “She’s a pagan, you know,” The gasp that followed said it all. It hurts to think that my religious beliefs should denote my worth. But I have friends, good friends that I am grateful for, and in their company, I just know I am a good person, sort of!

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