During my corporate years, an executive of the company once pulled me aside and told me his philosophy that there are two types of people. He called them "good bears" and "bad bears." He thought I would be delighted to know I was a good bear. My first reaction, which I kept inside my head where it would be safe was "Thanks for the nothing, you simplistic bastard." But in the fullness of time I have come to embrace his philosophy.

I allow for some slop in my designations. Everyone is nice sometimes, and everyone has their selfish or evil moments. But at a person's core you will find either a good bear or a bad bear.

Case in point, a reader sent me this observation from his workplace.

"Extra food from company events is often put in the break room areas for those who weren't involved in the meeting.  I have a co-worker who, when happening upon the food, will pack it up and take it home.  He rarely leaves anything behind.  One time he was seen taking the bag the food was delivered in out of the trash so he could repack it.  He's been seen packing up the left over plastic silverware, napkins and plates, but leaving behind the Italian dressing.  He must not like that kind."

While I can't rule out the possibility that this person was taking the food to a homeless shelter, something tells me that isn't the case. The homeless often like Italian dressing. In any case, this is just an example.

Do you buy into the philosophy that people are either good bears or bad bears at their core?
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Feb 6, 2009
( Do you buy into the philosophy that people are either good bears or bad bears at their core? )
Most people fall between 2 stools , a place called 'neither'. If choices are born out of ignorance, and if choices are not awakened responses , can we label them as good and bad, sir ?
Jan 23, 2009
I was wondering how to share my work philosophy. But if you could just read my current blog (fresh, really fresh), you will not find bears, but only ******* (use any animal's name), in there -

Jan 13, 2009
The ability to be a "good bear" or a "bad bear" is inevitably in all of us; however, some of us had the stuffing knocked out of us when we were little when the "bad bear" would appear. It's called common manners and not being so selfish. We have a woman where I work that makes sure she's always first and last to get food when we do carry in's and if there are leftovers instead of leaving it for the next shift she always takes it home. We had a cookout once at work and she came to the next shifts cook out and ate. Oh and she didn't stop there she asked if she could take a plate home. She's constantly putting makeup on at her desk and spends the last thirty minutes of her "work" time readnig a book. Something tells me she is channeling more of her inner "bad bear" than good.
Jan 12, 2009
Bad Bears are a growing group, and good bears are declining. I think it has to do with the fact that good bears see that the bad bears get the good jobs, the promotions, the extra money, the big car etc. The good bears look around and see that other good people get abused, pushed around and treated with disrespect.

If you want to decrease the number of bad bears, bad bears must be made to realise that their bad ways are noticed and ridiculed. When you see someone packing up food that should be for everyone, you have to tap them on the shoulder, and TELL them that its not acceptable. Since the dawn of mankind, peer pressure has kept us in line - we need to stop being so polite and politically correct to those who don't understand correct social behaviour on their own.
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Jan 8, 2009
Actually, there are two types of bears: hungry bears and bears that just did something very bad.
Jan 8, 2009
I once thought that people were a lot more complex than that. I imagined many factors that a person could possess in a nearly infinite set of combinations which made a linear scale between good and evil difficult (and naive) to attempt to gauge. As I've gotten older, however, I see things a lot more black-and-white. Good people are as self-sufficient as they are able, yet willing to help other people when it doesn't compromise their own well-being. I see lots of people who try to help other people to a point that they become a burden to their friends and family. That's not a good person in my book.
Jan 8, 2009
I think there are only a limited number of people who are "good bears" or "Bad bears" all the time (or most of the time). I like to think there are only a few true "bad bears" in the world (I tend to be an optimist) but if you ever meet one, you will know. I've met a few and it's duck and cover time!
Jan 8, 2009
You are so right. Everyone bar thee and me missed the obvious.
Jan 8, 2009
I think we are all good bears and bad bears. See "Lucifer Effect".

I went out an Italian restaurant with a group. We were all paying our own meals, but bread baskets are shared. These 2 girls were stuffing all the grissini in their purses before anyone started eating, while complaining about how other people are so inconsiderate when they use up all the paper in the copier.

What I find most fascinating it that 90% of us think we are better than most people, while we are just that same !$%*!$% should the opportunity arise.
Jan 8, 2009

Everyone treats others the way they want/expect to be treated.
Everyone tries to (or at least knows) what's "good" and "right" the way they were taught.

Unforunately, people grow up in vastly different environments, and how you want to be treated can be very different than how I want to be treated.

You may have lived with people who were unemotional, staid, and quiet, and sharing feelings was considered bad.

I may have lived with people who shared their feelings all the time.

You may have been raised by people who always set limits and made you feel you had to work for things.
I may have been raised by supportive people who let me set my own limits and consuled me rather then setting hard bounds.

you and I would make very different managers. Some people would consider me bad and you good, and vice versa.

I could go on, but you get the idea...
Jan 8, 2009
toonmonitor is a crazy bear.
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Jan 8, 2009
The Yogi Bear comments had me wondering if Yogi Bear and Ranger Smith were good bears or bad bears. Let's consider.

Yogi was born in Jellystone Park and lived there his whole life. He had a penchant for stealing visitors' picnic baskets and caused the park no end of turmoil while doing so. In fairness, if you bring food into a man's home, he's probably going to expect you to share some of it. Yogi did however spend an awful lot of time boasting about how he was smarter than your average bear much like some of my work colleagues whom I consider to be bad bears.

Ranger Smith didn't live in Jellystone, he just worked there. In fairness he seemed to genuinely want to make the park a better place for visitors but his by the bookishness was hard to take at times. He was constantly trying to rip Yogi from his home and ship him off to a zoo which would no doubt have crushed Yogi's indelible spirit. He also generally made Yogi's removal from the park his top priority letting all of his other important ranger duties slide.

So I'm going to have to go with Yogi = bad bear, Ranger Smith = bad bear
Jan 8, 2009
Now would be a good time to fasten your safety belts, the professor is about to speak.

Classroom Prof. Notes: (010809)

Also, toonmonitor creeps the hell out of me. Where is that guy from?!

Mr. Killface,
Did you know that your name refers to a series of animation, whose central characters are aliens. Hell-bent on destroying mankind. The series also deals with various types of information, such as telemarketing and mass mailings.

To answer your question. I am a number of things. For your perspective. I am a college professor. That teaches in a very unusual university. “I'm not only the president. I'm a member”

When I say little one-liners like that. I'm referring to an invisible classroom lecture series. So, how is this relevant, Mr. Adams, as well as ninety percent of all the creative talent within the world walked into my classroom in 2003, and have not left.

Parts of who I am can be seen in many things. Especially if you pay attention. In one aspect. I am a man with a high price upon his head. To follow this more completely. You would need to referred to (Bil Keane’s strip 010609).

I would like to talk to you (killface) and the other commentators, much more. But I lose my Internet connection. Today. Now you can refer to (Bil Keane’s strip 010809).

In some respects. I'm also a pirate and a pirate's victim. Nothing is easy to understand in the world of 18% gray. (See Mike Peters strip 010609)

While we are at Mr. Peters you can see, my biblical references. In his strip of today (010809).

Now for something completely different!

I loved the Yogi Bear comments.... although I wondered if the food thief ever used a pic-i-nic basket....

Ms. Kaladorn,
[sexuality in this posting is based upon assumption]

Do you know who I am. Then you may have followed in another classroom. For Mr. Killface, and anyone else who does not know their way around at the University, here is part of yesterday's lecture:
…“COME ON put your thumb someplace else

Can you believe I got 2 thumbs down!?! And with this much support data! {Yogi Bear, often speaks in rhyme, suffering from spasmodic dysphonia.} ("pic-a-nic baskets") He made his debut in 1958 one year after Scott. Cindy Bear has the vowels [ I and e ] just like !$%*!$ !$%*!$ WHAT MORE DO THESE PEOPLE NEED!!!!”

…” It's clear his (their) own political views "Libertarian, PLUS the crazy vegetarian stuff” and his followers (the thumbs down commentators) embrace the ideology of the anti-Yogi. Well, fine, I’ll just steal someone else's material.

Now that's an appropriate line for the unseen state of mind, I have to address shortly.

But in terms of the eighteen percent gray classroom, it refers to ("pic-a-nic baskets"). I'm starting to think that the real terrorists I need to be concerned about are the vegetarians. This is fascinating. When you study the body types of Eric Cartman, statues of the Yogi, and my own body type.

Simply put, if your body does not receive and metabolize proteins, you have problems. The problems can be manifested in many arenas. Simply put, when was the last time you had a bowl of wolf band chili… that's too long. Chili, and a healthy balance of other meats along with bourbon, beer, cigarettes and cigars can cure, what is ailing you. Can I hear an “A Man” from coir?”

Jan 8, 2009
I don't know about people in general but a friend of mine refers to advertising people as being on "good crack" or "bad crack" when they create commercials and advertising campaigns. I've found it to be very true.
Jan 8, 2009
i love it that a lot of comments are questioning the "bear" thing.

i honestly beleive that there are two types of person in the world:

the good lemur and the bad lemur

Jan 8, 2009
I see the language filter didn't like 'e-r-e-c-t' as in 'e-r-e-c-t defenses'....

It's amazing how stupid these filters are, considering the overall power of modern computing. The task is hard, but our ailing attempts are a real sign we should learn to live with the occasional bit of bad language to avoid messing up perfectly valid, inoffensive speech.
Jan 8, 2009
There are definitely bad bears. Corporations often have a few borderline sociopaths among their staff and a fair few rise to power. Get on the wrong side of one of these and you'll know you've found a bad bear. Their brains just aren't wired the same way. People who've never met a bad bear are lucky.

On the other hand, most folk, when they pull their head out of their nether regions, try to do the right thing. Usually, failures to do the right thing are more about not paying attention, being absorbed in other concerns, or having a self-pity day where you don't have the reserve of good nature to keep your spirits up and your demeanor pleasant.

The truly remarkable people are those who, with the chips down, still behave like good bears. Even when they are tired, cranky, worn out, and overstressed, they still act good and make the environment better for their presence.

Most of us are 'mostly good bear, sometimes bad bear' but there are those that are closer to either end. If you run across one of the full-time bad bears, you learn quickly to develop an awareness, to !$%*! defenses, and to make strategic choices to avoid or protect your interactions with them.

In the case of the food thief, he's probably just being a selfish jerk, but you don't know unless you have the full story and not rushing to judgment is part of trying to be a good bear.

I loved the Yogi Bear comments.... although I wondered if the food thief ever used a pic-i-nic basket....
Jan 8, 2009
I notice I'm not the first commenter to wonder about the peculiar choice of words in your post today, Scott.

Seriously, what's with the "bears" analogy? Is this an American term -- or are we in third grade?

"Good person" or "bad person" would perhaps be more logical terms...?
Jan 8, 2009
I am still not sure if the person who was taking the free lounge food was supposed to be a "good" bear or "bad" bear. But stealing the picnic basket makes him a Yogi Bear, which at least makes him funny.
Jan 7, 2009
I believe that people don't simply fit into one of these categories, they're much more complex than that. But WE as people tend to put people in those two categories. I have a good-bear category, a bad-bear category, and a jury-is-still-out category. There are a lot of people I put into the bad-bear category even though many others would put them into the good-bear category.

Also, toonmonitor creeps the hell out of me. Where is that guy from?!
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