Thursday, January 21, 2010

Why Do We Resent the Good?

I've been thinking about the derogatory term "goody-goody," the label we attach to those who do the right thing even when it is not to their advantage. We give lip service to doing the right thing, but in cases where we are called upon to do it, we resent those who follow through at the cost of our own comfort. The person who reminds the teacher that she forgot to collect the homework assignment is subject to retribution. We see this reflected politically in Rush Limbaugh's rants against helping the Haitian people in their time of greatest need.

It cannot be simply that these people touch on our insecurities because the same treatment is not reserved for those who are better looking, more athletic, or more artistic. What accounts for this?