What’s the point in doing the right thing? In doing what you’re told or what you think what people expect of you? It seem that in a lot of situations, you’re left behind or taken advantage of for “doing the right thing”.
Going home from work I take the highway. Recently, they started doing some construction around 8pm around the time I get off work. They shutdown two lanes so that there’s only one lane open. There are signs indicating everyone should merge into one lane well before the lanes close. Like a good citizen, I get over as quickly as possible. Don’t want to get caught with no runway, you know.
If everyone did this, it wouldn’t be to much of a problem. Everyone would be going the same speed with minimal delays. But of course there are the people, you know the ones, that drive passed and continue down the lanes that are about to close and butt their way in somewhere ahead of you. Naturally, this brings everyone before that choke point to a screeching halt while the people who “cheated” get to continue driving on their merry way.
Now this is just my most recent example but I’m sure you have all experienced something like that as well. Letting someone cut you in line only to have all the cronuts run out by the time you get to the front of the line. But look! The person in front of you got one! It could have been you if you weren’t such a nice person. Or maybe you’ve never smoked a day in your life just to be diagnosed with lung cancer while someone could smoke everyday of their lives and be fine.
What’s the point?
Why even try being the good person? or the perfect son/daughter? or the sincere religious person when non of it seems to be benefiting or helping or giving you a leg up in life?
Some people say that doing nice things is itself a reward and that’s fine. But what am I to do with ‘good feelings’? Good feelings don’t get me home sooner. Good feelings don’t make lung cancer go away. Good feelings don’t put food in my belly.
Honestly, I don’t know what the point is. Maybe to keep humanity from completely cannibalizing itself? To show what good humanity has to offer? That’s all well and good.
I just wish I had something to show for it…
A Contemplative Writer
Dear APLBW, thanks for your honest ponderings. It’s good to admit our expectations and disappointments. Many times, doing the kind or honest thing brings a good outcome. But as with the examples you gave, sometimes doing the kind or honest thing doesn’t seem to benefit us at all. And yet, doing right is always worth it. It comes to how we were made. We were made to have a character that reflects our Creator who is perfectly good, right, and true, and who loves us very much. Our choices shape our character — the person we are becoming. We want to live up to our full potential and be fully available for relationship with our loving Creator. We’ve all utterly failed in our character, but we are all utterly loved. The mercy God showed us is the most epic story ever — Jesus died for us to pay for our character failings, and came back to life so that we could have a new, pure life and be part of his own family! We can’t add anything to the gift of goodness that Jesus gives us, but we do good to say thanks and to live consistently with the new life he gave to us.
Aren’t you a princess too? I think you are. Could remembering that you are His beloved princess impact your choices when someone cuts you off in traffic? Or when you face a deeper disappointment?
By the way, what is a Cronut? Sounds really tasty that they are selling out so fast!
It is a croissant and a donut combined. Not sure how its tastes like but I hear good things.