If we would like others to do us good, we can set the ball rolling by doing the same to others.
Does the world, that is so often so unkind, still deserve people who do good? What is the motivation that can drive one to do good even if it goes unappreciated?
If you are someone who feels it is not a very kind world and even worse, unappreciative and ungrateful, you are not alone and not entirely off the mark. Again, what with the moral fibre in our societies coming apart and all manner of values and living by basic tenets and rules given the complete go-by, one is in a perpetual state of confusion and conflict, wondering whether to follow the herd or plough a lonely furrow, respond to the call of conscience and do good and be good at all times.
The question therefore uppermost in many of our minds is why should one do good when the world is quite the contrary?
A recent experience of mine too left me thinking the same thing. For three years I had funded the nursing education of a young girl in a reputed college. I was over the moon when she passed out and landed a job in a very good corporate hospital. I could see that this could do wonders for her career, open doors and raise her standard of living. Imagine my shock when I learnt through sources that she had quietly quit the plum job (ostensibly because she wasn’t given leave to attend to her sister who had delivered but in actual fact because she wanted a seemingly better paying opening) and opted to work in a not-so-reputable institution throwing away a future bright with prospects. Why do I ever have to do good if people don’t realise the value of what they are provided with, I ranted.
After a few days of rumination, I realised that we should do good and live ethically because it is the only right way to live. Doing good for its own sake without reward or expectation is the ideal approach. At some point in life when bitterness and disillusionment set in, we stop doing good because we feel we invest ourselves so deeply in doing someone a good turn and get hurt in the process.
Remember, not doing good is not a guarantee for one never getting hurt. As the Bible says, it is better to suffer for doing good if that indeed is the will of God, rather than for doing evil. The good that you do comes back maybe not in the manner you expect but in some form wherein the grace of the Supreme blesses you in unexpected ways. And doing good does make you feel good. If you are in a position wherein you can lift someone up, or help them heal or teach them to fish, consider yourself privileged. How heart-warming it is to see the fruit of one’s efforts. If there are disappointments in the process, simply turn them over to the Supreme.
If everyone refrains from doing good, the world would be a lot worse. Time and again we have seen, despite our cynicism, that mankind rises as one to reach out to fellow human beings in times of crisis, be it floods or earthquake or a bombing. Why should we therefore wait for a crisis to happen before we do good? If we would like others to do us good we can set the ball rolling by doing the same to others. At least that will change the world no matter how imperceptibly.
The writer is a Reiki channel, yoga practitioner and a spiritual seeker