A Good Man vs A Great Man

This is Us – Season 3 Episode 10 – From the Eyes of a Counselor

Tension is high in Beth and Randall’s relationship this episode. We see Randall struggle with the right decision in many situations. Beth challenges him to think about his claim of being a family man since he hasn’t been home much lately. He is advised to shed light on dirt found on the current councilman in order to sway voters. He also feels the draw towards justice for a community that is under reached. Being a family man, being full of integrity, and fighting for justice are all values of Randall’s but somehow, he has found himself in a situation where they are all in contradiction to each other.

When he runs into the reverend at the diner, he shares that he finds it easier to be a great man than a good man. This is a struggle most people wrestle with. Society tells us that in order to be successful we must do something great when, a life full of a lot of little good things has great – sometimes greater – worth. 

But how do we make sure we stay committed to those little good things along the way? I can be helpful to identify our values. Come up with a list of your top five. Put them in order from most important to least important. When you’re met with a difficult decision, like Randall was, you’ll be able to come back to this list and be reminded of what is most important to you. There will be times that our values hit up against each other and it’s unclear the best decision to make. There will be sacrifices. But if we keep the most important thing the most important thing we will be able to look back on life with a smile when we’re old and gray, like the reverend advises Randall. When our actions match what we say we value we are able to be more at peace with ourselves. 

Some Things to Consider:

  1. Have you taken time to make a list of your values? If not – google “list of values”. Circle the ones that stand out to you. Of the values circled, go back and highlight the top five most important. Refer back to your list when you’re met with a difficult decision. 

Have you made decisions lately that don’t line up with your values? If so, are your values really your values? Do you need to change your list? Or be more committed to the values you have chosen. 

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