Many of us choose to live by certain attributes of love, understanding, compassion, honor, honesty and humility. However, some people regard these attributes as good while others choose to call them constructive. Is there a difference, and if so, what is it? It may be beneficial to understand the terminology in order to realize your spiritual being more completely. In that regard, I would like to offer the following information for your perusal:

  • Good
    • Word is derived from the Old English word god, and includes the following meanings:
      • virtuous (worthy);
      • desirable (to want something you currently do not have);
      • favorable (approving or partiality);
      • pleasant (agreeable);
      • valid (legitimate or powerful);
      • suitable (appropriate, proper, right, correct);
      • efficient (not wasteful);
      • considerable (substantial); or
      • sufficiently great (distinguished or notable).

    • Webster's dictionary definition provides the following additional definitions:
      • commendable;
      • right;
      • proper; or
      • evidence of guilt.

  • Constructive
    • Word is derived from the Latin word constuere, and includes the following meanings:
      • to heap (crowd, assemble);
      • bring (bring forth, produce, present, offer);
      • collect (pull together);
      • gather together;
      • build;
      • fabricate (manufacture, produce, put together or craft); or
      • erect (to elevate or set upright).

    • Webster's dictionary definition provides the following additional definitions:
      • to devise (to develop, consider, form, plan, or arrange in the mind);
      • compile; or
      • invent (to discover or create).

While it does appear that both the words good and constructive are the same, and society has used these words interchangeably, looking at the original derivation of the words can give another perspective. Specifically, if you ponder the individual meanings of each word carefully, you can definitely discern a distinct difference between the two.

Good - A Position of Inequality
Beginning with the first bullet in the above good description list, it is possible to see a pattern. Would you agree to be virtuous or worthy, you must believe you are not the same as another? In other words, you feel you are either superior or inferior. From my perspective, as I look at each of the remaining definitions of good, I can discern that all of them describe acts from the position of superiority or inferiority to another. Do you agree?
From a spiritual standpoint, each meaning for the word good will apply if you feel you are separate from God. Thinking you are separate, you can assume you are inferior. Furthermore, if you think you are separate, then God is outside of you, and not within. Each individual meaning of the word good validates this premise.
Constructive - A More Neutral Approach
However, focusing on the individual definitions for the word constructive, a different picture emerges. Each of them is a representation of an action by a person who has taken a neutral approach to spirituality. A spiritual teacher named Charles Crooks has often stated, "You are part of the whole and not separate." Under these terms, you are neutral. You can be neither inferior nor superior. Furthermore, when you are part of the whole, everything, including the light of God is within you.

Although doing good can be constructive, which word do you think is more beneficial to your spiritual growth? The choice is yours. Do you want to consider yourself outside the light of God, allowing a regard for yourself as either inferior or superior? On the other hand, does a more neutral approach to spirituality appear to be resonating with you?
I know that I am not outside the light of God. I work within that light, bringing forth the constructive attributes of love, understanding, compassion, honor, honesty and humility, in the pursuit of defining my character more fully. Therefore, I choose to use the word constructive, instead of good. Based on this new understanding, what do you choose?
Copyright Statement:
This article was written by Cindy L. Herb and may be reproduced on any related website provided the text is not changed in any form and this copyright statement is displayed unedited in its entirety at the foot of the article and you use the exact same HTML code to ensure a clickable link back to the author's site. Further articles are also available. Contact the author for more information. Copyright 2009 Cindy L. Herb, All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Author's Bio: 

Cindy L. Herb, author of Awakening the Spirit: The Open Wide Like a Floozy Chronicles, specializes in Mind, Body, and Spirit healing, and Physical/Sexual Abuse Recovery. As an inspirational speaker, Cindy L. Herb offers others an alternative approach to healing from any trauma, allowing people to view life’s tribulations as an opportunity for spiritual growth. To download your FREE report, Some Helpful Steps to Healing, please visit the author's website.