According to Google, a goody two-shoes is “a smugly or obtrusively virtuous person; a goody-goody.” According to Urban Dictionary, a goody two-shoes is “a person who always does the ‘right thing;" never does anything they’re ‘not supposed to do’ and acts ‘perfect’ in every single way possible. Usually a very peppy/happy person who is a ‘go getter.’ Also usually a girl. These people can be very annoying because of these traits.” It is clear by these definitions that being a goody two-shoes has a negative connotation, despite the root word “good.” That leads me to wonder, why is it considered so bad to be good?
Since second grade, my conscience has plagued me with guilt many times, and I used to come home from school every day to confess every single thing I felt guilty about to my mom just to make myself feel better. Quite frankly, it was exhausting having to spill even the slightest mean thought I had had about someone that day just to relieve my conscience. Thankfully, that stage only lasted for part of second grade, but my incredibly guilty conscience has been with me ever since. For that reason, I guess my “goody-goody” persona was born. I respected my parents and told them stuff about my day instead of blowing them off; I did all of my homework assignments on time and never cheated; I apologized to my friends and family members if I ever said something mean when I got angry about something and most importantly, I never did anything that I felt was wrong. That’s not to say that I didn’t mess up and make mistakes just like anyone else because I definitely did. It just means that I always tried to do what I felt was right, and I always followed the rules that were given to me. I know that that probably makes me a goody two-shoes in the eyes of some people, but that is not something that I am going to be ashamed of, despite the way other people try to define people like me.
Let me tell you my definition. I don’t think that I always do the “right thing” as Urban Dictionary claims because I think that I do the right thing FOR ME. I am not in charge of what is right and wrong for anybody else, I just make decisions that I know I will be proud of myself for and that I know are right for my life. Who am I to say what is right and wrong for anybody else? Also, as Urban Dictionary puts it, I don’t think that I never do anything that I am not supposed to do necessarily. All different people have all different expectations of me, and I’m sure I haven’t lived up to some of those expectations over the years. Would I deliberately do something that I know I am not supposed to do? No, but have I? Yes, I definitely have. I don’t act “perfect” as the definition says. Following the rules and making decisions that I am proud of doesn’t mean that I think I’m perfect, and I think that is the main thing that people have wrong about certain people that are considered “goody-goodies” and “goody two-shoes.” Some people do act like they are better than everyone else, but not everyone who follows the rules necessarily thinks that. Some of them may be scared of the consequences, some of them may just like the rules given to them and some of them may have guilty consciences like me. I am a happy person, a go getter and a girl, but I’d say that’s about the only part of Urban Dictionary’s definition that is accurate. To me, a goody two-shoes should be defined as someone who sticks to what he/she thinks is right no matter what and who isn’t afraid to stay true to his/her moral compass. It should be someone who makes decisions that he/she can be proud of.
I know that the term goody two-shoes is meant to be offensive and that it is used very loosely for people who always try to follow the rules, and I can’t change that. All I can do is accept that to some people, obeying the rules is only something done by people who think they are better than everyone and/or who think they are perfect. Some people follow the rules, some people break them and all of us get judged for it either way. I don’t think that I am better than anyone, and I respect the decisions that other people make for themselves. However, that doesn’t mean that I have to agree with them. I like the way I do things, and I like following the rules because it makes me feel good about myself. I am proud of the trust I have earned from my parents, friends and teachers because I have truly earned it by following their rules and respecting them.
So, from one “smugly or obtrusively virtuous person” to the next, don’t be ashamed for the label that society gives you. Be proud of the decisions you have made for yourself. From one human being to the next, no matter who you are or what you do, make the decisions that are right for you. Always be proud of who you are.
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