“You probably don’t want to hear advice from someone else, But I wouldn’t be telling you if I hadn’t been there myself, It’s alright, It’s alright, Sometimes that’s all it takes, We’re only human, We’re supposed to make mistakes” Billy Joel
We all are human beings and recognizing that fact and its implications might be the most important thing that we as a society need to learn.
“Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself.” Here is the standard that we should all live by: if it does harm to another person don’t do. So easy to say so hard to put into practice, in fact, to implement that it is impossible, we are after all only human. But that doesn’t mean we cannot improve as a society and as an individual.
It is easy to look at the big picture and see all that is wrong. In fact, a discerning eye shows so many terrors caused by man. War, poverty, homelessness, murder, theft, rape, the list of atrocities are very long and very obvious. While people advocate political or other macro solutions we must remember that society is the sum of individuals. If we all improve ourselves it is then natural that we will make the world a better place.
First, we all need to admit that we are broken. That we are all sinners falling short and that there is a need to improve. I’ve known many individuals in their egotistical self-satisfaction that simply don’t care about others. They are satisfied in their life at least on the outside. These people tend to gravitate towards positions of power. Our government is full of people, bought and sold to the higher bidder, lacking all form of virtue. To these problematic people, we simply need to persevere in their agony. Repaying evil with evil will only exasperate the problem. We need to pay evil with good, we need to meet the higher calling.
We all have areas that need a tremendous amount of work. Anger, lust, greed, materialism, jealousy, envy, pettiness all infest our daily lives. While always striving for perfection we must realize we will never achieve it. Rather we should focus primarily on improvement. This is not selling out but practicality. When we trip up and make a blunder it is important to rebound as fast as possible and not sulk in the self-inflicted scorn of self-pity. I find that my out shortcomings remind me of my humanity and deflate my ego. When I fail it motivates me to do better. I don’t compare myself by others but rather by the perfect standard.
Sometimes in life, the only right choice is to suffer. I recall working at a store stocking shelves. The salespeople were extremely immature and they would like to joke in a most offensive way. They would mock one another and they would mock me as well. I never once insulted any of them but it mattered little to them, they were having a grand old time with their foul offensive mouths. If I had repaid insult with insult I may have had acceptance but I would be selling the moral high ground. Over time the insults dissipated but never totally went away, but I believe I made an important statement. I eventually left the job and moved on in life glad to depart.
Becoming a kind and generous person is something that we all need to strive toward. This is not an obvious statement to many. Perhaps it is given lip service but it is something that must take priority. Many lessons in life are issued verbally while the youth learn primarily from example. I think about high school and college and the great amount of cheating on the tests that occurred. I doubt if any of my fellow students were told to cheat but they all did.
There are shortcuts in life and many prosper by giving the devil their due. But these gains are achieved at the expense of the majority. While it may seem that conveniently cutting corners doesn’t hurt anybody much it does. Primarily when a person compromises themselves a little they are opening up themselves for doing greater wickedness. We have arrived at our present-day wicked state by human beings consciously choosing to do evil, let that reality sink in. Doing right or wrong is a conscious choice as is love and hate. While understanding right is simple learning to love is complex. But righteousness and love walk hand in hand.
When you look at the world and interact remember above all that we are all human beings. Treat everybody how you would like to be treated. Don’t be afraid to do right or advocate for what is right. People can give a lot of elaborate arguments to validate their evil. Don’t fall for it, it is a simple thing if it hurts somebody else it is wrong.
Please check out my book “From Chaos To Cosmos” https://amzn.to/2y7wZdJ
Photos by rs-foto,