Home > The Monday Musings Column > on good and bad

on good and bad

I am an avid reader. I have been since I learned to read and have always got a book on the go. At the moment I have three; one a technical tome that I read on the dining table, and e-book biography that I read on my ‘phone over breakfast and breaks at work and a paperback biography for bedtime reading. From two of this trio comes some thought on good and bad in people.

There was a man who was prominent in a field that I know a lot about. He was, in many ways, a pompous ass and was not quite as good at what he did as he thought he was. I would have loathed having to work with him in that respect, but on the other hand he did a lot of good things. Overall I have always though of him as a decent enough bloke, but one of the books that I am currently reading alleges that he was far from good.

It is a common enough theme; Rolf Harris gave a lot of pleasure as an entertainer before certain facts became known and he went to prison for his actions. Jimmy Savile did a lot of good for various charities, but was also found to be a bad lot after he had died and no doubt you can think of your own examples.

Over the years I have worked with people who have been lovely as individuals, but a nightmare to work alongside. There have been others who have been a delight to work with yet were not people that I would have wanted to know outside of the office. My view is that I have a job to do and it will get done regardless of how I feel about the people around me and I am sure that there are people who have known me who did not like me at work or would not have wanted to socialise with me. It matters not to me.

There seems to be a view these days that people should be perfect, but we aren’t. There is always the possibility that there will be something about us that would offend others. For most of my life that didn’t matter; I have always had friends who had different political views to me, supported sports stars or teams that I can’t abide, were deeply religious (I am an atheist) or whatever. Our differences often cemented the friendship as we argued our respective points of view.

My friendships have also survived where the other party has done something that they should not have done. I am not going to abandon a pal lightly; if you are my friend and you are in trouble you know that I will be there for you. This is not something that I was directly brought up to, more that it is how my attitudes have evolved.

I do not expect perfection from anyone, let alone politicians and business leaders. Yes I would like them to behave to a standard that I would find acceptable, but why should my standards prevail? There is good and bad in us all and I can live with that.

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