Ward’s Take: Be a Good Person

This statement is going to come as a shock to some people. It’s really not that hard to just try to be a good person. It’s rather exhausting to constantly be an asshole. Despite what some may think, “being hard” is not impressive. “Being a badass” gets you in prison.

I wasn’t planning on writing something like this today. I was honestly going to look ahead to some fun games this weekend and make a prediction piece for one of the NFL Wild Card games.

Then this afternoon happened.

Following a double homicide in my hometown last week, today we had a police standoff at a house on a road adjacent to mine. I went on a road run about an hour before this standoff, and I ran right by the house it all went down at.

I’ve heard conflicting reports, so I won’t say for sure, and don’t know for sure, what exactly happened.

Regardless, this is all really embarrassing.

I’d be lying if I said I was extremely faithful to Moberly, but it is the town I’ve literally spent all my life in. I grew up here, I went to high school here, I started my postsecondary education here. While I don’t love it, it holds a place in my heart.

This stuff doesn’t happen here.

It reminds me of another event elsewhere in the state that also happened late last week. A quadruple homicide in a St. Charles neighborhood, where an act so violent is unheard of.

Dan Buffa, a writer in the St. Louis area who knew the family and I have great respect for, wrote about it. It’s perfect, and if you’re reading this, you should read that too.

Why is this all happening? It sounds ignorant and selfish, but why is senseless violence happening in safe places?

Well aren’t guns the problem? No, that’s wrong. I will go no further. I will never get political on this blog, and that is that.

Drugs are a problem. Yeah, but not all the time.

A lot of this stuff boils down to being mentally scarred. Something is not right with the heads of the people that do this.

So what does that have to do with everybody? What does that have to do with the proud asshole that doesn’t care, but would never go so far as to kill somebody?

It’s because you have an effect on everybody you interact with. You may never kill someone, but what do you know about the person you were just an asshole too? What if they were on the razor’s edge, and you just set them over.

Extreme example? Maybe, but you never know.

I want to say this as simply as I possibly can. Stop being an asshole. Just be a good person. Smile a little bit more. Show appreciation. Tell your family and friends you love them.

I’m not going to type this and pretend that I’m perfect. I’m not always a good person. Sometimes I look back on something I did earlier in the day and I’m ashamed.

Where I’m different, however, is I try to get better each and every day. I know I have flaws, I know I’m not always a good person, and I’m working on it with every opportunity I get.

I’ll never be perfect, but I’m damn sure going to try. You should too.

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