Why it is Impossible to be “A Good Person”
Jan 16th, 2011 | By Anna Brix Thomsen | Category: Anna Brix Thomsen, Classroom Controversy, Columnists, Featured Articles
Morality – Has it ever occurred to you how difficult it is to be a good person? In fact it seems that even the best people amongst us, cannot be good all the time – how many times have we not heard of priests, ministers, politicians or soccer moms, whom everyone around them, saw as
Morality – Has it ever occurred to you how difficult it is to be a good person? In fact it seems that even the best people amongst us, cannot be good all the time – how many times have we not heard of priests, ministers, politicians or soccer moms, whom everyone around them, saw as the best people of their community; giving, loyal, honest, selfless and hardworking – who turned out to be sexual predators, tax evaders or drug abusers? Who were leading their perfect life, with perfect marks, perfect children, degrees, gardens and characters and in secret living a shady life of porn, abuse or addiction? I have realized something for myself: It is not possible to be good all the time. It is not possible to be the model citizen, the perfect mom, a good person. Why? Because ‘good’ is a polarity – the polarity of ‘bad’ and as such the balance will always tip from one end to the other. It might take years or months, we might be living both the good and the bad at the same time, exerting the good to the public, shamefully or spitefully keeping the bad hidden – but it is there.
I Realized that it is not possible to be good, without also being bad – and that no matter how good deeds I would do, how much I would try to redeem and clean myself from the bad, it was not possible – because inevitably the balance would tip and I would find myself doing or saying exactly that I had been fighting and trying to keep away. This explains why these seemingly good people, after years of being law abiding citizens, suddenly go on a killing spree or leave their family: because the good requires an equal bad to balance itself – and we, we are caught in the middle constantly having to keep the bad away, doing our duties, while thinking about the teenage daughter next door or just another glass of red wine. So if bad follows good in an infinite balance that seems to be as accurate as a law of physics, can we actually say that there is such a thing as being a good person?
I discovered for myself that being a good person, that doing the right thing, made me feel good and that this was the primary reason for why I tried to be a good person – because it made me feel good, it made me feel better about myself – When the balanced tipped and I then did what I considered bad, I felt bad, or even reversed, felt constrained by the good and liberated by embracing the bad.
This world as we collectively participate in it and portray it, through our movies, news and public life, confirms for ourselves that the world is good, that we are good – that there is something inherently or at least possibly good underneath it all. To this we give our hope, our faith, our donations to churches and charity organizations, to show and prove to ourselves that we are capable of treating each other with dignity and respect. I discovered for myself that I would do anything to feel good, to feel like a good person – I would follow any leader that told me that what they were promoting was in the name of the good – I dreaded the feeling of being a bad person. But no matter what I did, what I sacrificed or desperately wanted to be true, the bad kept luring in the shadows as a monster that I could not rid myself of. I tried everything, from meditation and anti-materialism, to positive affirmations and vegetarianism. I was deeply committed and truly believed that this time, each time, I would succeed. And in these states of ‘purity’ and cleansing myself of the blood of humanity’s humanity, I felt better than those who did not participate; the meat eaters, the shoppers, the unfaithful – I felt that I was finally raised above these savages, above the savage in myself, and I would feel surged with energy and motivation to do the right thing. Not long would pass and I would get bored, my motivation would drop and soon I would find myself in secret stealing bacon from the kitchen or buying a gossip magazine. For a while, I could block these misbehavings out and pretend like it was not me or say to myself that it was only a moment of weakness and that I would re-commit myself even more firmly to my vows. I remember as a child, praying to God for something to occur, to be saved from a situation and promising that if God would hear my prayer and give me what I wanted, I would stop being bad, I would commit myself to his work. There is no doubt that there are many monks and missionaries out there, who are in this exact position, because they have done the same. But if it is impossible to be good, because good and bad exists in a balance, what are we actually doing? And can this explain why the world exists as it does, of haves and have-nots, of people speaking good, while acting bad, of people who after years of faithful service to gods, wife’s, husband’s or governments, suddenly in a surge of energy, turn bad?
The next question is then what happens is we stop trying to be good? Many would say that the world would run amok, that Suffering would increase, that not having moral standards would legitimize people to do what they wanted; to shoot each other or steal from each other, without remorse. But if we look at the world as it exists in its figures and numbers and digits – is this not already what we are doing? Is this not what we have always done? And if the truth behind why we so desperately want to do the right thing, is that it makes us feel better, how can morality be legit? What if we take both good and bad, right and wrong, out of the equation? Then we are left with the World as it is – no reason, no meaning, no purpose – simply they way we have Accepted Ourselves to Exist and the question of if we are going to keep Accepting Ourselves to Exist like this?
Right and wrong, good and bad are implied through there already being a moral standard, already being a source – whether that is Adam and Eve, God and Satan or The Evolution of Human Consciousness and the ability to make rational and altruistic decisions. But if we look at the World as it exists in its digits and numbers of money spent on war, child deaths and financial inequality, it is evident that it cannot simply be explained through the belief in right and wrong or good and bad. Our laws are not protecting us, our faith and beliefs is not making us compassionate or loving towards our neighbors. Our prisons are not rehabilitating its convicts and the news does not show what is really going on. In our public lives on the streets, supermarkets and at our jobs, we are bullying each other, fighting to get ahead in the line, being consumed by road rage or thinking about having sex with every woman we see. Still we pretend like there is order and civility, while underneath, in our Secret Minds, we only Care about Ourselves. Many people will say that this is not so – That they Care. But if we look at the state of the World, and what we, as citizens, parents, corporations and governments are doing about it, the answer is evident.
Therefore we require of ourselves to bring about new Solutions that does not depend on hope or on a seemingly inherent dormant ability to do the right thing or to be a good person – By holding onto this, in ourselves, towards each other and our children, we are Deceiving ourselves. Therefore we require to Face ourselves, Self-Honestly, Directly, Straight Forward, even though we know that we are not gonna like what we See. And then we require of ourselves to reconsider what we are doing and what the Actual Starting-Point is, for our Participation within and as this World – not the Starting-Point that we’d like to believe we are coming from – and in this, we require to Consider the possible Solutions for Sorting our this Mess that we have Accepted and Allowed Ourselves to be and become. In this, there is no pointing fingers, blaming or pushing the Responsibility away – because each of us, even though that might require some Self-Honest Self-Investigation, are Equally a part of the Creation and Acceptance of this World as it Exists.
Then we can Finally Decide to Live according to Principles of Common Sense, wherein We Realize, that What is Best for All, at a mathematical, physical and practical level, is Best for us to. And finally rational decisions can be made, sustainable Solutions can be developed and Politics and legislation can be used to implement these Solutions. This is what we are doing at Desteni and with the Equal Money System – Because we have Realized that morality is not inherent, that good is an equivalent of bad and that the purpose of doing the right thing and being a good person, is about the energetical surge of feeling good and avoiding Facing Ourselves in taking Self-Responsibility for and as this World. Thus we require to literally Change Ourselves, the nature of ourselves that we have taken for granted and to, both within and without re-educate ourselves and Change the Principles upon which we Govern this World and Ourselves in and as it. It is simplistic to Participate – all it requires is for us to Push Ourselves to be Self-Honest, even when we do not like what we See and to, within that, make the Decision to Live differently, to Live according to What is Best for All.
Lets Sort Out this mess that we have become and Live in a way where Life is Actually Valued and where we do not have to Fear each other or what is inside us, because we have taken Self-Responsibility and re-educated Ourselves to Live according to Principles that can Stand the Test of Time and not energy, beliefs or emotions that waver and fall and in which we are Separated and Distanced from Ourselves and Each other.
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