"And it was, for we were not strong, only aggressive; we were not free, merely licensed; we were not compassionate, we were polite; not good, but well behaved. We courted death in order to call ourselves brave, and hid like thieves from life. We substituted good grammar for intellect...."
Author: Toni Morrison (Bluest Eye, 1970)
Toni Morrison's words sounded off in my head like a siren when I first read them. They were also reiterated in Black Star's (Mos Def & Talib Kweli) lyrics for Thieves In The Night. The words speak truth about human behavior and who we really are. Do you ever think about what you would do if no one could see you? According to Bismark, "our character is what we do when we think no one is looking ." It certainly makes me question my character especially in my most vulnerable moments. Are we good beings? Am I a good person? I think that most of us are guilty of not being such good people. There are few among us who would not do something that is considered illegal or immoral if we could get away with it or if it were acceptable. So, some of us have something in our lives that governs our actions and makes us think twice about how we conduct ourselves. This governance can be in the form of our conscience (God), loved ones, or law enforcement. I don't think that makes us evil or mean individuals. It becomes nefarious when we carryout heinous acts with no remorse or fear of consequences. So, it's not that we are so good; we're just well behaved. Peace~