It is true that those among us who live under "good" principles tend to lead "good" lives, it is not necessarily true that all principles are all good. For example, Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini all had certain principles that they followed, and with history as our testament that the principles these evil men followed were not all good.
Although it is true that when a child is born, that child is inherently good. During the coarse of life he is often faced with prodigious forks in the road where he either can choose the "good" path to nobility and respectability, or he can choose the path to evil.
If you have ever read the Bible, you can look there for many examples. One is the temptation of Adam and Eve, and another is the temptation of Jesus as described in Matthew (4:1-2): "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwords he was hungry."
He was starving, and that was when Satan tempted Jesus to turn rock into bread. And Jesus resisted the temptation, stating that the word of God is more valuable than anything on earth, including bread. So he chose to take the path of goodness.
Yet the first temptation may not even be mentioned in the Bible. As is described by Catholic doctrine, Satan was initially created by God as a good angel. Yet he was faced with a choice, and by his own choice he became evil. And it is in this same way that many people since that day have decided to take the path of evil. Although evil for a majority of us may be in a subtle way, it is still evil.
So what is it then is it that drives one to choose one route or the other: evil or good? The answer is the principles that we follow for ourselves. Usually these are laid out for us by our parents, or those who raise us when we are children. Yet it's actually simpler than that, as the basic principles of life are those of which we are born with: we are all born inherently good, with the intent of being good. We become "bad" only by choice.
Thus, the foundation of life is based on the principles we live by. A principles, as defined by Dictionary.com, is "an accepted or professed rule of action or conduct." Born as inherently good people with the inalienable right to make free and individual decisions, we, at some point during the early course of our lives, get to decide what principles we will live by.
The principles of good are generally based on virtues such as those that were written by Ben Franklin in his Autobiography: Temperance (eat not to dullness), Silence (speak not what might benefit you or others), Order (let all you things have their place), Resolution (finish what you start), etc.
It is my firm belief that most of us yearn to be good, because by being good people we are able to fit into society better. However, some of us believe the opposite, and Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini are extreme examples of that, and so too is Satan if you be live in that beast.
So the principles most of us follow allow us to keep our natural course in life, and if you're a follower of a Faith, allow you to maintain your purpose in life as directed by God. Or, by following the basic principles of life, allow you to maximize your ability to use the gifts you were given.
Examples of principles may include:
- I will not speak too much, for my words can trap me
- I will not take advantage of a drunken woman
- I will not sleep with someone until I get married
- I will not chart a breathing treatment I did not actually do
- I will not let money control my life
- I will not eat and drink to fullness or dullness
- I will not waste my day away lying around, and instead accomplish something
- I will control my anger
- I will not complain
- I will not disrespect my parents or other people
- I will not hold grudges
- I will smile as often as I can
- I will use only positive words
- I will pray often
- I will be generous
- I will be forgiving
- I will treat other people with respect
- I will keep my priorities in the right order