Bad Isn't Good

Bad isn’t good.

If you think bad is good, then you’re going to act badly. You’re going to hurt people because you think it’s good.

Phillip Caputo wrote in A Rumor of War that during the war in Vietnam, US marines chanted:

“Ambushes are murder, and murder is fun.”

Leaders knew that chant would create platoons of men who could survive a brutal environment by telling them what you thought is bad is good. 

When survival requires you to think, what is bad is good, it’s horrific.

This is a radical idea.

Every day at work, at school or play, we see a mix of bad and good. We’re taught to perceive bad and good not much differently than Caputo’s marines during Vietnam.   

When being bad isn’t good - you’re taking a stand against the world. Something matters. Inevitably you’re going to meet someone who disagrees with you.

We’re starting here because you can’t have a conversation about talking at work without deciding what is good and what is bad. Eventually, you’re going to meet someone, maybe at the next meeting, to whom doing something bad seems good.

If you never got that bad isn’t good, you’ll think it’s good to say something bad.

So now, stop, and consider that bad isn’t good.