For some reason, I have been thinking about the hierarchy of certain things. Thinking about how to classify particular relationships, friends, jobs, bosses, employees, customers, and connections in a way that brings perspective.
Good describes things that are positive and contribute to you and your wellbeing.
Lost describes things that were once Good, but have left or been removed from your life.
None describes things that have never been part of your life.
Bad describes things that are negative and erode your life.
Why do we need this hierarchy?
Frankly, Good is easy. If all of our things fell into this category the rest of the list would not be needed. We would be and have good parents, friends, relationships, employees, bosses, and customers. By classifying the Good, at least we have something to strive towards.
The Lost, None, and Bad is where things can become less clear.
Lost can be hard. We had it: a marriage, a parent, a relationship, a friend, a job, a boss, or a customer. It was Good, now it has been Lost. The temptation is to classify this as Bad. A Lost parent, boss, friend, or employee is much better than a Bad one. We were able to experience the Good. We feel grief because it was Lost. Despite being Lost, we have the memories and experiences of what was once Good.
None is tricky. None may masquerade as Bad. Not having that parent, relationship, friend, job, or customer actually feels Bad. But None is not the same as Bad. None has plenty of its share of emptiness and loneliness, but that is a far cry from the negative destruction that Bad can bring.
Bad at first glance is easy. Bad encompasses all of the negative and harmful things. However, Bad is not satisfied with being at the bottom of this hierarchy. Bad wants you to believe that there are only two classifications: Good and Bad. Bad wants a more simple definition: If this thing is not Good (all the time and consistently and forever), it is Bad.
A Lost [parent, job, relationship, spouse, employee, customer, or boss] is better than None. None is not actively destructive like a Bad [parent, job, relationship, spouse, employee, customer, or boss].
Does having a few ways to classify these things be helpful? How could separating out the Lost and the None from the Bad provide some additional peace or freedom?
Not all events that you currently face, or that shaped and define you are Bad.
Bad likes to take all the credit.
As we strive for more Good in life, don’t let Bad fool you into thinking that Bad is all that remains. Sometimes Lost, and even None, are not so Bad when they are in perspective and in their respective hierarchy.