Traer (2007) mentioned that being good is dependent to two things, character and relationship. A good is a way of being that carries with it an intrinsic moral worth. Being a good person is a state that defines a person’s action base on his intentions. In everyday scenario, for instance, a good person is someone who is seen as selfless and embodies integrity. A good person is pictured as someone who is putting someone else’s benefit before his or her own. In the Kite Runner, Amir saved Hassan’s son for many reasons, one being to redeem himself from his ‘sins’ in the past. His intentions may be beneficial more for himself rather than his nephew, but in the end he still saved someone else’s life. Being good is a difficult concept to define because there are many ethical theories that gives their own definition. But both in life and seen in the book, being good is about doing something that requires personal sacrifice. Amir put his life on line by entering the base of rebels.
Being a good person may also be defined by a person’s willingness to turn back on personal gain for the sake of the other people. Martyrs are commonly used as examples for selflessness, because they dedicated their lives for the sake of others. Character defines a good person. In the Kite Runner, Amir turned his back not only to his friend but to his former life when he fled to America to escape the war in his homeland, but 7he returned because he received a call from Rahim Khan telling him that there was a way to be good again. He wanted to prove that he will not be defined by the things he did in the past, and he will try to save not only his nephew but himself by doing what is right.
The complexity of the nature of good, however, makes defining a good person difficult, since ‘good’ at times is cultural or contextual in nature (Traer, 2007). Many different societies will give various definition of what is a good person to them. Suicide bombers, is a good example of the complexity of the definition of the being a good person. In the point of view of the victims, the suicide bomber performs acts of terrorism and murder because many unsuspecting people lost their loves. But for the suicide bomber and his or her group, he or she is treated like a martyr because he or she died fighting for their cause, an epitome of selflessness.
In conclusion, what are good and evil remain to be one of the biggest queries in life. A concrete definition of what is good can not be given, because of the complexity of the word ‘good’. Most of time, people have differing views of what is good because of their orientation in life. Some may argue Amir is not a good person despite saving someone, because he did it out of guilt and not out of pure intentions. His past came to haunt him and he wanted to lose himself of that burden so he did something about it. The concept of being good carries with it the objectivity of the people.
Frank A. Lessons Learned from Kite Runner. http://alyssalfrank.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/lessons-learned-from-the-kite-runner/ 2 May 2014
Kraut R. What Is Good and Why: The Ethics of Well-Being. Harvard University Press. 14 June 2009
Traer R. Doing Ethics: Right and Good. 2007