THERE’S MORE TO IT — I’m a bit of a dreamer, an idealist even, I always have been and that’s probably why the state of the world bothers me so much. People are used, abused and neglected in increasing numbers. Ideas that used to be bad are now good, and beliefs that used to be good are now bad.
I’ve always imagined a world where people would just do what’s right, speak truth from sincere hearts, and refuse to slander others, harm their neighbours or speak evil of their friends, a world where people kept their promises even when it hurts and refuse to sell their loyalty, accept bribes or testify against the innocent.
I think we all probably agree that this is how things ought to be and we’re all incredibly disappointed that the reality of life is often so different from what it ought to be.
In this world, it’s a struggle to find the few who even try to do right, and in that disappointment, we often just start looking out for number one and steal moments of joy however we can.
We’re so alert to our own feelings that we become numb to others, and we end up being part of the problem.
I once had a friend whose credo was “never expect anything from anyone … that way you are never disappointed.” That never sat right with me, even back then, and it eventually became apparent that, though he might not be right, he had made himself safe, hiding between being part of the solution and being part of the problem.
That’s where most people end up living, and it’s a lonely place, unable to trust others and unable to find others to trust them.
That utopian dream we share, of a world where everyone does what is right, is usually imagined as everyone doing right by you. But what if we’re looking at it from the wrong angle? What if we started doing what’s right by everyone else? Even if they didn’t deserve it? Even if there was no promise of reward? What if joy came from giving, serving and helping instead of by going out and grabbing it? What if the people who at least try to do good were less rare, because we chose to become them?
What if instead of doing the same old things, we decided to get better at life?
The great women and men of this world have always been people of character, faith and integrity. They were fulfilled and happy and they deposited the same into those around them.