Why be good? It’s your true nature

Why be good? It’s your true nature
Highlights

Theres almost no direct correlation between how good or spiritual you are, visvis how much suffering you may have to endure in your life Being good or great cannot protect you from physical or mental diseases if you hit the genetic jackpot, for example Being good has no bearing on prices of stocks owned by you or the life of your loved ones In other words, goodness grants neither immunity f

There’s almost no direct correlation between how good or spiritual you are, vis-à-vis how much suffering you may have to endure in your life. Being good or great cannot protect you from physical or mental diseases if you hit the genetic jackpot, for example. Being good has no bearing on prices of stocks owned by you or the life of your loved ones. In other words, goodness grants neither immunity from nor compensation for everything that we may deem as not good.

The question then arises: if that’s the case, why be good at all? If my goodness does nothing to alleviate my suffering, why bother with all this goodness and kindness business? The answer is a lot more straight forward and simpler than the question itself. And that is: being good is our inherent nature. We are designed to experience happiness when we practise goodness.

Therefore, people are good because that’s our natural dharma. Goodness and its cousin kindness give us the strength to face the challenges and difficulties this life brings as regularly as the seasons.We pray, we meditate, we act kindly, we do good because we must; that’s what goodness is. It is an integral part of us.

We may prove ourselves right, eventually though it’s not when we have our way, but when we make way that we experience joy and happiness. We must not relinquish goodness, because it infuses strength and resilience in us. What’s even more amazing is that good people can’t stop being good just because the rewards are not coming through. Good people remain good. They understand that it’s not a choice.

Think of some of the greatest human beings. Did they retort to violence or misdemeanour just because goodness wasn’t paying off?Our challenges test us but our attitude shapes us. Our difficulties don’t break us, instead they make us. They bring out what we have in us. Hence, good people become better, not bitter, when met with resistance…. A good person suffers in the same way like any other.

Just because someone’s a good mathematician or an artist doesn’t mean, they can’t fall sick. Rather, such a comparison is preposterous. Similarly, just because someone’s spiritually evolved doesn’t mean he is outside the purview of the laws of nature. Or in the words of Udaylal Pai: Just because you don’t eat a lion doesn’t mean the lion won’t eat you.

Does that mean we should be bad? Let me tell you, it’s not in your hands. Besides, how will that help? After all, the opposite of goodness doesn’t shield you from suffering either. So, what does, you ask? Your perspective, your attitude, your view of and your expectations from life do. When these are aligned, there may be challenges, resistance, pain, but no suffering.

You may wince, but you won’t cry. When all else fails, it’s your inherent goodness alone that helps you steer the ship of life in choppy seas.M K Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King and many others before and after them used this basic principle to weather the ravaging storms. Goodness is prayer, it is meditation. In fact, goodness is God. Be good.

Om Swami

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