The "Being a Better Person" Cliché

There should be a meme about this phrase already.

People on YouTube or TV talk about how they have become “better people”, or how the existence of this other person turns them into “better people” or makes them want to be “better people.” Apparently there’s an algorithm as to how to become “better person” and the Internet can supply you with such formulas galore.

What strikes me when the person in the video claims to have become a better person is the lack of authenticity. In certain shows you can even see the guy before and after becoming “a better person.” They look, sound, and feel exactly the same. Their claim is so hollow that I should turn the damn equipment off, which I usually do when I watch it on my own. But these days the house is full and we enjoy programs together and sometimes you have to bear with people’s tastes.

I’ve always wanted to be a better person but this idea has become so trivialized on TV and social media that I think people may no longer know what being a better person really means.

Or I’m just an utter snob.

Googling “Meme Be a Better Person”, makes you a better person.

If I were a better person I’d have a checkered avatar. As it is I just try to live in a way that makes me comfortable in my own head. I don’t know if I’m making anyone else’s life any better, but it keeps the demons quiet and that’s all I want.

A better person wouldn’t need to declare how they are a better person than they used to be. It would just be plain to see.

Edit: (by which I mean: look for, look up to people you respect for what they are now, especially those who aren’t banging on about how good they are)

…by which I mean: look to/look up to people on the basis of what they are now, not because they are banging on about how good they are now, and certainly not if they contrast that against how shitty they used to be.

Well, that edit and postscript went well

Same way I view someone who says “I’m an honest person” or “I’m a Christian” or “I’m a generous person” - if you have to tell me, you’re probably doing it wrong.


All in all, if someone at least has an awareness that “being a better person” is a thing, then give them credit for that. Would you rather people strove to “be a worse person”?

There have been articles I have read over the years that have caused me to reassess my views on gender and race (for instance), hopefully for the better. So I have a certain amount of sympathy with others who are trying to become a better person based on something they saw or read.

Of course, “90% of everything is crap” so you have to take that into account.

I don’t feel I need Youtube videos on self improvement. Though these are stressful times, so any help in preventing too much backsliding these days is something I should appreciate more than I do.

I want to be more kind, more patient, more honest, more loving, more generous than I am. I’m grateful for friends and colleagues who call me on my crap.

I’m not what I want to be, I’m not what I am supposed to be, I’m not what I am going to be, but at least I’m not what I used to be.