Many times in our lives, we remind ourselves to be ‘good’. To be noble, honourable, self controlled, positive, encouraging, nice etc. To strive to be even better, to be successful and to be the best that we can be.

However, one question comes to mind. Does being ‘good’ means the absence of ‘bad’? Of course we can be subjective and say that ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are matters of opinions. For this discussion, let’s stick with the common believe that ‘good’ means all things desirable and ‘bad’ means all things undesirable.

I witnessed an example yesterday in the elevator that sparked this question. Here’s what happened.

Mother and daughter (young kid) were in the elevator and daughter was angry over her friends teasing her. She was venting her frustration but mom and another bystander were insisting that she shouldn’t be angry, that anger is a ‘bad’ thing and it is ‘wrong’ to feel angry. The more they said those things, the angrier the young lady got…… Me being the busybody that I am then gave some attention to her anger and asked her what happened? She proceeded to explain what happened, which seemed to be working to relieve her anger but too bad…… she couldn’t finish and had to leave.

Here’s the observation. I noticed the shock and disbelief in the mother’s eyes when I asked her daughter what happened. Like as though it is a mortal sin to be giving attention to the anger. I think she has a belief that all negative emotions need to be suppressed, cos her last statement before she left the elevator was “You need to pray about this”…. I know there are still many unanswered ‘loose ends’ to this story but here’s what I want to discuss today.

  • When we work towards being ‘good’, should we then suppress the ‘bad’? (in this case, Anger)
  • If Anger and other emotions such as grief, fear, envy were ‘entities’ living within us, would suppressing them really lead us to become better ‘good’ people?
  • What would happen to a person when these emotions are suppressed for years or even decades?
  • How then should a person balance this duality within ourselves?

I welcome your comments on these questions. Here’s what I think:

‘Negative’ emotions surface to give us feedback and they play a part in our personal growth. They tell us of lessons that we need to learn and parts of us that need to be embraced. In my opinion, suppressing such emotions is like poisoning ourselves bit by bit. It cuts away pieces of ourselves thereby causing dysfunction, suffering and deep unhappiness. I’ve also read that suppression of emotions can lead to cancer, illness and other physical / psychological ailments.

Shouldn’t we strive to become whole? To be inclusive of the positive and negative sides within us? To embrace a Whole self? So that we can be empowered to get used to these emotions, to acknowledge our true selves and exercise empowered choices?

‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ in my opinion are parts of ourselves, Neither can exist without the other. The journey then is to seek a balance and be aware of when either opposites are being neglected, followed by exercising empowered choices. Keeping in mind that one of the Laws of the Universe is the Law of Cause and Effect. What one sows, one reaps.

Your comments and questions are warmly welcomed. More insight of this topics can be found in Debbie Ford’s book “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers.”

3 Responses to “Does making an effort to be Good mean to suppress the Bad?”

  1. Ed says:

    The main problem with parenthood these days is the lack of open platform for children to have a voice of their own. Traditionally, parents somehow will figure that parents will always be right. I come from a family like this, so it may take some drastic actions to prove and overturn this myth.

    The thing about desirable and undesirable, is subjective to our preferences. I would assume that there isn’t any specific guideline to indicate strictly what is desirable and vice versa. Given that in reality, there could be situations that we need to “break the rules” to get a justified point across. For instance, the much talk-about incident of 2LT recently about not following the chain of command. Assuming, the entire saga would have been swept under the carpet and covered up if he had followed the chain of command.

    I see the whole point of anger management as being a startup key to the process of improvement and dealing with the resentment proper. We hear of many “just cool down” from people but ultimately, does it resolve the problem? I guess people should start questioning the source of anger and directing the anger into understanding the full picture and what need to be done. That is greatly missing in our modern day society, to sit down and reassess the root behind each anger and unhappiness before we decide or advise someone else on how to manage the whole incident.

    Off-topic: Are you hosting through bluehost? If you are, how’s your experience with them? I am currently considering hostmonster but would like some feedback on more host.

  2. OysTeR says:

    Hi Ed,

    You’re much appreciated for your comments. I agree very much parenthood these days lack an open platform for children to have a voice of their own and I’m seeing the effects of that with the youths that I work with.

    Of course there are times when a parent really needs to ‘enforce the law’ in order to get a justified point across. Kids can be a handful. However, I still see that the root issue lies in a parent’s belief system about how “I” should raise “My” child. IMHO, to have open communication between parent and child. Parents could exercise a little more self awareness cos ultimately, the child BECOMES the parent by relation.

    My hope for parent-child communication in modern society is for both sides to put down that “I need to be right” mindset and work toward a resolution, therefore opening up the possibility of future positive communication. Guess that goes for couples too huh! A little idealistic but at least it’s a start.

    Off topic, bluehost has been serving me well. It is fantastico enabled and pricing is reasonable. US$6.95/mth for a 2 year sign up and US$7.95/mth for 1 year. They give me a free domain and I can host unlimited add on domains up to 300GB. Support is fast too. The thing that made my decision was the fact that they registered the free domain under my name rather than theirs. I’ve heard of others hosting companies that register free domains under the host’s name and there is much dispute when the registrant wants to transfer hosting companies. Please do check that with the companies you are thinking of about this.

    Have a great week.

  3. Chee Kui says:

    I think it’s not only a thing that occurred to parents.
    And maybe the real topic here is actually discover what causes anger and how to solve it 😉
    For me, anger is just a balance reaction to good. Like physics, cold happens when there is lack of heat.

    It’s how you look at certain things, whether you want to look at the good or bad side of it.. And I think it’s best to try too hard to appear good and turn out to be hypocrite..

    And I think the parent in the elevator was just trying their best to help their daughter to forget about the incident, but it was counter-productive. 😉

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