A Good Man

By Benji Elkins:

John always tried his best to be a good person. He held doors open for people, he said hello and goodbye to everyone he saw, and he even rated all his Uber drivers 5 stars regardless of their service. Every single day John tried to do what was right, and at the end of the day, he would lay in bed going over what he had done and what he could do better.


Of course, however, John is human, and even he had his faults. When he held the door open for people, sometimes he would misgauge how far away they were, forcing them to jog to the door in order to accept John’s gesture. Sometimes, after he had said goodbye to his friends or acquaintances after a pleasant conversation, he would find himself continuing to walk in the same direction as them, but out of principle would refuse to continue the conversation as well as he had already said “bye.” Additionally, despite John’s high rating of his Uber drivers, he would always insist that he sit in the front passenger seat for every ride no matter what. Though this may not be a stain upon his moral character, it definitely was really weird.


John’s desire to do good largely manifested in John’s devotion to serving others. Regularly, he would help others carry things, let people in front of him while waiting in line, and give money to the poor on the streets who he cared most about. When he heard about the rising drug epidemic hitting the streets of his city, he founded an organization called “Highbo,” a collective that “cuts out the middleman and supplies the homeless with safe and organic high grade illegal drugs.” Since he was a kid, John displayed this sometimes flawed character trait. In fourth grade his parents severely scolded him for flagging down and then offering to eat candy and climb inside a white van that was traveling down the road. John figured that if he was going to be kidnapped, he may as well be fairly helpful about it. However, John’s offer was turned down by the van drivers as they already had a kidnapped child tied up in the back.


But the most important thing to note about John’s life was his tenacity for ethical dilemmas. John strived to be a good man so much he often poured over hypotheticals and thought experiments such as the ethics of euthanasia or the famous trolley problem, a dilemma in which one must decide whether to let a running trolley kill five people or switch a lever to change its direction to kill only one. In fact, John was so distraught by this problem he even hired actors to re-enact the scenario, hoping that he would be able to quickly come to a moral decision if he saw the scene played out in real life. Unfortunately, as a result John is now serving a life sentence in the Nevada State Penitentiary for the manslaughter of five people.

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©2018 by The Milking Cat.