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What about the bad guys?

Updated: Dec 12, 2019

If we all have goodness inside of us, why do some choose hurtful actions that will bring others pain or worst?

Children ask me this question often throughout our coaching sessions, and I am always both relieved in their expressing their curiosity and unnerved that they are somehow experiencing a conflict themselves or vicariously through the media. As always though, questions like this give birth to the teachable moments that facilitate learning in real life situations.

Watching or hearing of someone make negative choices is a great opportunity to observe self awareness, practice empathy, and learn positive decision making.

Here are some of the answers and follow up questions that I bring into my discussions when this topic comes up:

  1. While everyone has goodness within them, whenever we choose to make negative actions (actions that are only thinking about myself, might hurt someone or myself) we block some of that goodness within us, eventually over time, if we don’t change our behavior, we may forget we have goodness within us, we may not feel it, and we might even do something that can hurt others without realizing how bad it really is. Can you think of some choices you might be making like this? (Examples might be; littering not turning in homework on time, disrespecting parents)

  2. Sometimes people are hurt for reasons we may not know. Although it is a choice to behave negatively, people who are going through challenges sometimes have a harder time making positive choices. This doesn’t make them bad people. Can you think of a time you were upset and maybe said something hurtful that you didn’t mean? What could have been some positive healthy ways to deal with that situation?

Exploring the tough questions and reflecting on how these challenges and stress affect everyone, is a great way to open dialogue, get to know one another, and practice tools that can help children overcome challenges in the future.

The family that explores together, grows together.

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