Being an End Table

I guess I’m feeling philosophical today. I’m not getting anything done on my novel (although I think I did add a sentence or two), but I’m finding myself lost in a lot of rather abstract thoughts. Just now, I was playing a mahjong game and thinking about what it means to be a “good person.” I’ve always found this concept rather suspicious.

First, it implies that there is some essence or purpose to being a person, and if you fail at that purpose, you fail at being a person. I’m not sure that’s possible. If you’re a person, that’s just a natural, indisputable fact. I’m not sure it’s all that meaningful to say that someone is a “good” one or a “bad” one.

Similarly, it sounds like a skill that can be acquired, along the lines of being a good golfer or a good mathematician. I suppose this could be a helpful metaphor if one is in the process of “trying to be a better person,” but one might just as likely throw one’s hands in the air and say, “I guess I’m just not that good at this ‘being a person’ thing. Maybe I should try to be something else, like maybe an end table.”

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