Born to Be Good

“The human being is born with an inclination toward virtue.”


This may be an unpopular opinion, but the concept of ‘original sin’ is an invention of society, developed over time. There are many such inventions that have taken us away from the inarguable and self-evident truths of the universe. Thankfully this is what philosophy helps with — it removes all that silliness and gets us back to the natural truth.

And the natural truth is that we are born to be good.

At our core — nevermind our distraction by misleading concepts, or our focus on the wrong things — at our core we are good. After all, as Marcus Aurelius taught us, goodness comes from within. It’s a never-ending fountain of goodness inside of us, in fact.

We get off course over the long journey of our lives. We listen to the wrong people, start thinking some upside-down thoughts. We start to believe some things that we previously understood to be false. And this can sometimes lead us down the wrong paths. It’s not because we’re bad, we just get misdirected. Deep inside, we still have that deep desire to seek the truth, and find what is good and raise it up, to be the best that we can be.

My own crooked path

When I was a teen, I had to go to three different high schools. By the time I arrived at the last high school, I had had it. I was pissed, I was done with the bullshit, and I didn’t want anything to do with anyone. I tried to deny that I needed human connection. I closed my heart and kept everyone away.

As a result of fooling myself in this manner and intentionally hardening my heart, I fell in with some people that were not healthy for my growth. I started to adopt some habits that weren’t great for me. I began thinking some harmful and negative thoughts, and what’s worse — I believed them.

I even entertained the thought that I was no good on the inside.

Over time, I’ve refocused my energy on the pursuit of truth. The Daily Stoic book has been a catalyst for that, and since then I’ve really run with it and focused on my emotional health. I’ve prioritized self-work as perhaps the most important thing I do each day.

Along the way, it has become clear to me that as humans, we naturally seek the light, that we seek virtue. Honestly, it’s hard for me to believe that I’m actually typing these words, but… I might even be starting to believe that the human race is naturally good, and not doomed due to our own greed and avarice. That was a negative thought that I clung to for many years, and it’s starting to fade.

Most importantly, I now believe that I was born to be good. And that’s the best thing I can believe about myself.

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