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8 June 2024 : Daily Answer Writing

Q1) “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart.” Do you think there are certain universal qualities that define a ‘good person’? Illustrate with suitable examples.

(150 Words/10 Marks)


There is no single definition of a ‘good person.’ Generally, a good person is one who is preferred by every society in any civilization. Few common traits of a good person which are universally desired are as follows:

1. Integrity: It is the quality of being upright in all situations even when no-one is watching.

E.g. – Mahatama Gandhi used integrity as a method of spiritual, social, and political activism to counter the brute colonial force with moral force.

2. Compassion: It is to strive to work for alleviating the problems of the weak and vulnerable.

E.g., Mother Teresa’s work for leprosy patients.

3. Objectivity: A person taking decisions based on facts and evidence and not subjective interpretations makes for inquisitive, unbiased, and effective leaders.

E.g., Swami Vivekananda.

4. Dedication and devotion: Dedication gives vigour to act against odds and devotion gives faith that goal will be achieved even if it takes time. Nelson Mandela and Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar lives are emulative examples.

5. Courage: It entails taking stand on issues, fighting for the right and not let external powers or fear control one’s actions or thoughts.

E.g., S. Manjunath laid his life but did not wither in the fight against corruption.

Apart from the universally accepted traits of a good person, certain desirable traits that vary across place, time, and roles, such as:

1. Place: People at different places or in distinct cultures have divergent preferences. E.g., individualistic, and family-oriented norms in the west and the east respectively.

2. Time:

a) With change in time, social needs, and ways of thinking change.

E.g., gender norms in the post-globalisation world entail gender equality vs patriarchal norms in preindustrial societies.

b) Standard of good qualities change with circumstances.

E.g., dutifulness may be required during war, but accountability and scrutiny in peace time.

3. Role:

a) Different roles in life require different traits,

e.g., role as son vs father.

b) Certain professions require specific values and attitudes.

E.g., a good civil servant needs to have political neutrality while the same is not desired or undesirable from a common citizen, who should be politically conscious.

So, depending upon society to society and time to time, the qualities of what constitutes a ‘good person’ keeps changing. But one should always strive to imbibe the universal qualities of being a good person and be willing to adapt to changes required by changing place, time, and role

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