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Why good people suffer

By Karmayogi

We do not ask why tall boys fail or handsome persons are sometimes foolish. We know tallness is unrelated to good performance in exams and pretty faces have nothing to do with mental brilliance. But we often expect that good people should be rewarded with prosperity. We fail to see that handsome looks are a physical characteristic and success in life is an ability to organise a productive work. We also see that some good people are poor, neglected and are the butt end of unjust treatment.

It is possible to enumerate most of the reasons for this phenomenon: 1. First of all, those we consider good people are good in their behaviour and are not really GOOD; 2. Most of them are inefficient and some of them are lazy; 3. There is a belief that pious people are naturally good which is not true; 4. The first qualification for a pious man is truthfulness. Very few of them or none of them will qualify under this head; 5. In our society harmless people, i.e. people endowed with no talents, are considered good, as they do not meddle in others’ affairs. It may be good behaviour but not real goodness.

The spiritual definition of goodness is knowledge of Truth. When Truth acquires knowledge, goodness is born. If we find one who fits this description, he will be a shining star in the society, endowed with strength and abundance. There is one more characteristic of the popular belief. Those who are ritualistic and given to ceremonies go down as GOOD people in the eyes of the public.

In modern times, rituals and ceremonies are partially outdated. By definition, those who believe in rituals and ceremonies are not rational but traditional. As tradition is yielding place to modern life, tradition is in conflict with present day life.

Naturally, when conflict arises, suffering too arises. There is a greater conflict in them. While they do not give up rituals, they ardently seek all the modern aspects of present day life — higher education, modern food, modern house, the latest entertainment and much more importantly, modern beliefs. Thus by their active preferences they intensify the naturally inherent conflict. Conflict means suffering, lower efficiency, poor income and moving to the margin of the society, as social growth is by HARMONY.

 
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