Do Good for Others, and You Will Find Happiness
The boomerang effect or “Action Theory” tells us that “every cause has its effect and every effect has its cause”. That’s why positive thoughts, feelings, and actions rebound back to us in a favorable way. When these are negative, the opposite happens.
When we try to do good for our neighbors, whether through thought, feeling, or deed, we’re automatically paving the way for our own happiness.
That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to the way we think, feel, and act. We have to keep in mind that what we do has the power to change the consequences we will face in the future.
Giving a glass of water in exchange for a glass of water only “fulfills” the law of reciprocity. True magnanimity consists of returning actions that are worth much more.
Everything that we do to others, we do to ourselves in some way. The key is to let our good actions feed off of themselves, and not what we get in return or what we’ve gotten in the past.
Most people who do good works do so in spite of the circumstances. They are inspired by the energy that comes from what they do, and not what they get in return.
“Do as much good as you can for as many people as you can, and you will often find yourself with people who will fill you with joy.”
Kill them with kindness
They say that one person can be the impetus for big changes. Though the world seems hostile sometimes, there are small actions we can take to make it seem more welcoming.
We’ve all heard the popular expression “Don’t let your right hand know what your left hand is doing”. That means that we should do things because we believe they are right without caring who benefits.
This saying teaches us that we don’t need approval or comparisons to do the right thing. When we see it in that light, good goes along with a selfless way of being. That, believe it or not, is where we find our reward.
Wishing bad things for other people rebounds back to us negatively. It causes resentment and unease. No one is completely happy if they want others to be unhappy. Generally, someone who feels bad wants the other person to feel worse.
“You only need an instant to become a hero, but you need a lifetime to be a good person”.
Ideas of good and evil
The branch of philosophy that studies human actions and classifies them as good or evil is ethics. Ethics is about doing good, but not all philosophers have the same idea about it. In ethics, good is desirable and is the opposite of evil, which is undesirable.
Cultural relativism accepts that there are different ideas of what is good. Ethnocentrism is less permissive on this subject.
Whatever the case, there are actions that are intrinsically good or bad because everyone finds them morally acceptable or offensive. Helping others is the highest form of kindness and attacking and harming others for pleasure is one of the highest expressions of evil.
The dispute over good and evil shows us that ethics is a battleground. But it also shows us that it’s not purely relative. It shows that certain behaviors are better than others. And we’re talking about absolutely better, not better for some or in relation to cultural norms.
We shouldn’t be worried about a few murderers or terrorists. Good outweighs evil, but we don’t notice it as much because it is silent.
In the words of Facundo Cabral, “A bomb is louder than a caress, but for every bomb that destroys us there are millions of caresses that nourish life”.
“You will know that wretched men are the cause of their own suffering, who neither see nor hear the good that is near them”.
-Pythagoras of Samos-