Goodness – a very generic word it can include whole host of things under its umbrella. To understand GOOD you need GOD since GOD is GOOD! From where did Good evolve?? As a child, my parents probably would have said good job my girl!! When I started crawling, then walking, then speaking and so on, infact exactly the way God said its Good when he created everything each time. So what does it mean to be GOOD?? Is it something done with perfection, or action at its best??
My parents during my childhood encouraged me to do some acts and forbid me to do the others (Of Course!! Every parent would do the same!). I got rewarded for doing things rightly and punished for doing it wrong.. I moved to school and I found teachers doing the same – a stick for mistakes and a carrot for good work! And the theory of duality – of good and bad, of sticks and carrots, of rewards and punishments continues all our life..
I got into college and while everyone thought to themselves they could freak out, have fun, have boy friends, drink make merry, enjoy their youth I thought they were horrible sinners and I was GOOD. In my opinion being good was being naive – bunk classes and sit and chat instead of attending classes, go home, watch tv, eat and sleep, well I was good because i went to church and attended prayer meetings, fasted and prayed!! I’ve repented for my skewed thoughts, well its easy for me to blame it on my growing conditions! What an irony!! Our society has grown cold and we have our minds trained to immediately judge people and their acts as good and bad! I agree I’m none to say who is good and bad, but how do I know who is good and bad???
Its my observation that every individual defines good and bad based on their experiences, values, beliefs and ethics, parental upbringing, conditions of growing up and finally their own tastes and preferences (could be genetic). I think its good to go to church, have fellowship with believers and I dont think church is a place where you give your weekly attendance, but for my hubby its completely different – Its about being on time and going every Sunday its a family tradition. Well, most marriages today are broken just because of this one fact – What is right for one is wrong for the other (I will take this as another post someday before i digress from the topic)
How can people bear the fruit of “goodness” if they don’t know what is good and bad?? One day I was walking on the road, and I saw a beggar, she asked me for money and my self religion tells me to give her some money – I ended up giving her a 10 rupee note and later when I pass by I watch her smoking beedi’s (Tobaco) and I felt i did a bad thing…. I’ve wrestled to understand what is good and the problem is most areas are gray!!
In my personal and professional life I’ve witnessed it is NOT possible even with bizarre permutations and combinations to say what is the BEST GOOD thing to be done, and there are times even when you know its good you just can’t do it!! How then can we be good??? and the answer lies in my theory of the circle!!
If you ask a bunch of people to say which is the starting point of the circle, it is impossible for everyone to arrive at the same point! It is NOT POSSIBLE, one would point to 45 degrees north on the circle, the other 23 degrees south west and so on and so forth. It is the same in today’s world – all of us can define our own GOOD and BAD. But then its interesting to note that you CANNOT draw your circle without a CENTER and that center is GOD!!
Consider that the circle in green is all the GOODNESS in the world which flows from the the center that is GOD himself! All of us varied as we are are lying on different arcs of the circle… For example consider different groups of people – the introverts, the pessimist, the optimist, the liberalistic ones , the conservatives! All of them may differ in their opinions and thoughts about how they can bring good to self and others. However I’m not advocating that one set is right and the other is wrong, or few are right and others wrong. All of them have some good in them and the good is to be defined from the center and not from their own centers.
And that’s where each of us as individuals have differing zones of good and bad, and a lot of shades of gray!! Therefore if we are to bear the fruit of GOODNESS – Our primary focus even before doing good to our self or to others is to have our focus on GOD – the giver of all good things! The next we to understand our insignificance and God’s magnificence which helps us not to judge others and focus on ourselves and helps us be better vessels to used for the Kingdom of God!