Of Goodness

Now a few days ago I was going through my twitter favorites and came across a blog post that I first read over a year ago and that stills elicits a certain degree of emotion from me. The story is about why guys should never be the good guy to women, blogged by one gentleman, Nyanchwani. Whenever I read through it, inevitably, I ask myself, ‘am I such a good guy?’ And the answer ten out of ten times is a resounding ‘yes!’…sadly.the irony is the grief that greets that stark realization. And really, it should be a great thing to know in your sub-conscious that you are a ‘good’ person, yet somehow it isn’t.

A few months ago I asked a favorite cousin of mine, a beautiful young lady, what she thought about the good guys. She replied by quoting a line from a song (I think): bad guys are no good, and good guys are no fun. This perplexed me in a way I’d never imagined. I mean, how do you react when you hear those words coming from the mouth of a girl who’s effectively a minor and hasn’t seen life away from the confines of school walls all her life? So I had to probe further, after recovering from the mild shock, of course, just to see whether she could actually back up her lyrical sentiments. And amazingly, she wasn’t just quoting a song…she actually believed in those words. It wasn’t lost on me that nine out of ten times; my lovely innocent cousin would pick a bad guy over a good guy, whose image I’ve always perpetuated.

Ever since that incident I’ve spent many hours and days even, wondering when we as a society tore up the script and changed the rules to firmly catapult into pole position of our preference the bad guys. Has goodness depreciated this much in the stakes of dating, courting and friendship even? At this juncture of course I have to pause and admit that technically (I just like the word so) no one is good, apart from God. Those are not my words, but Jesus’. Not even him in all his glory as the Son of God can be categorized as ‘good’. That said, still, for the sake of our day to day interactions and activities, we have set standards that define a person as good or bad. And they are acceptable standards too.

This is a defense of the good guys like me. Relax, I’m not being cocky, I’m just speaking the truth which happens to paint me in good light. Yes, so like I was saying, this is a celebration of the guys that endure all the ridicule and negativity and unrelentingly fly the flag of ‘good’ high, with or without the wind of encouragement and support to fan it. Yes. We might always be at the base of the fun-people pyramid, but I shudder to imagine what the world would be like without us. Perfection is never achieved, but we always try to imitate what it would be like. This is to you and for you.

I’m still that guy who will reply that late night text by my lady friend that says ‘I miss you’ when I know pretty well that it is a big fat lie. I’ll still be there at her beck and call when she has relationship issues that I have no idea how and why a fully functioning adult would still want to wallow in. I’m the one who will have to give way when I pay her a visit and her jerk of a boyfriend barges in to have some quality time with her. And when I’m at the door almost turning the knob I’ll pause and wait to hear her voice say ‘bye’ and only get deafening silence to escort me out. And if it isn’t silence it will be her giggles from the comfort of the arms of that guy. I’ll still go out not caring about that humiliation, instead choosing to focus on the fact that I helped brighten up someone else’s afternoon, also doubling up as an indirect favor to that guy.

That has to be the epitome of lame, you must think. Well, I’ve just began. I will go to the shop and after being served, wait, immediately on arrival, I’ll at least say hi to the shopkeeper and after the service; I’ll beam a chirpy ‘thank you’, complete with a broad smile. On Sunday, fully aware that most of my peers would be wandering in the ever awesome world of slumber land, I’ll be up by dawn, getting ready to cross the threshold of my local church, seeking an audience with the divine. And if like my peers, I’d have been overwhelmed by the events of the previous night (mainly staying up late for a round of scrabble after a football match), lost track of time and inadvertently missed holy mass, I’ll beat myself over it the whole day.

On Friday mostly I’ll go out just like everybody else to have fun. And indeed the destination would be the popular pub, where I’ll take a seat and reflect on the week that was over the loud blaring Caribbean music. Only that contrary to the norm, I’ll order a soft drink (complete with a straw) and go through the motions and emotions of German football. Of course this douche act of epic proportions will attract the disapproving stares and sneers from the rest of the revelers who by then would be half inebriated, having a time of their lives, flanked by the brown, green and clear bottles on their tables. They’ll wonder what this adult-looking minor is doing at the pub at that time of the night. One of the teams will score in the meantime and I’ll be up in delirium, punching the air while tweeting ‘Absolutely brilliant’. And with the final whistle, I’ll take my leave, as sober as a virtuous judge while others would be staggering in zig-zags. And you guessed it, the next morning my friends will tease me about how much fun I just saw pass by and didn’t have.

This wasn’t meant to solicit for pity, sympathy or empathy or even all of them. It was just to show you all that ‘good’ guys, contrary to convention, actually do enjoy their miserable and lame lives. They too need your love just as much as they are always willing to love you even if it’s the dumbest deed anybody should be doing. You say good guys finish last. Well I say it’s because aside from the runway not being level, on the way they are weighed down by all the good they have to do to you that they are always going to finish last.

Probably you’re still rolling on the floor laughing after having read this delusion here. Well, laugh, it’s good for your health. Somehow I still want to clutch on to the far-fetched belief that someday you’ll buy into my fallacy and give the ‘good’ in everybody a chance. For me, I just hope, in the words of the ‘Lord’s My Shepherd’ hymn from Psalm 23, surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.