I was in NYC recently and overheard a guy describe a girl he was seeing. He explained to his mate that she spoke five languages, was a medical student, had a good family and I swear he finished it off by saying she was also in the Peace Corps. it got me thinking about what people measure someone to be a good person. The same conversation in UK would no doubt say "she is a real looker and has a great sense of humour." But this guy's explanation felt like he was listing someone's CV, not the reasons he liked someone.
Why did this New Yorker prioritise these things? I know plenty of bellends who are all of the above but dull as dish water. I asked my Facebook friends what makes a good person? I got 'integrity', 'loyalty', 'generosity', 'empathy'...
We Brits clearly don't require the people we like to have seen the world and speak five languages, but to firstly have good sense of humour and show kindness. I fell in love with my boyfriend because he is a goofy, clumsy, sweet idiot not because he has visited Mexico and speaks very shit Spanish.
Still, this was one New Yorker and I'm sure he wasn't a representative of all Americans by a long shot. Just as my friend's responses on Facebook isn't an answer for all Brits. But this conversation did get me thinking about what makes a good person and if were all doing our bit to be one.
When I was a teen, I was an angry twat. My parents had divorced, my eldest brother had died and I was pissed-off at the cards I was dealt and not particularly a joy (I'm guessing) to be around.
After a somewhat traumatic experience at drama school, I decided to focus every day on trying to be a good person. I wanted people who knew me to experience me being kind, fun, and thoughtful. I wanted to not judge people and remind myself every day of my mums saying 'different strokes for different folks.'
It doesn't always seem that way. I've got a mean ass sense of humour and sometimes I can probably seem selfish. I'm an opinionated sod too which isn't easy for everyone. But I do try and I think the people I have in my life try too. We don't all go to Syria with First Aid kits or take our old clothes to the Red Cross, but we are thoughtful, understanding, kind.
I'm not exactly massively educated as anyone who's read my blogs probably guessed. But I am trying to see as much of the world I can and try to have as much empathy to all as I can. I too want to be well rounded, just not 'tick boxes' listed on a dating site.
With this in mind I'd like to point you all towards a just giving page. My friend, comedian Mel Moon is poorly at the moment and would benefit from some medication not available in her area on the NHS. Have a look at her page and if you can spare a fiver, please do.
Hopefully we can all be bit better people today. That's what life's about eh?