Thoughts on whether you can be good and still be yourself

in #thoughts3 years ago

Can you be good and still be yourself? Or when you are going to do good do you need to act like a different person? Do you feel you are being yourself by doing good, or do you feel you are being who you should be? There is a difference. I believe that when you are not being yourself but acting as you "should", then you will be doing what you think is good. Your action is based on a belief. The good is in this case something external and foreign to us, something that is outside, something that we learned or that we were taught, it is a concept, it is the idea that we should be in a certain way that we are not. It's an idea that came from outside and something or someone put in our head. Because otherwise, if the good came from within us, if we had a connection to the good, then we wouldn't have to be someone else to be good, we could be ourselves. And if you feel that you are yourself when you do good, then you are doing what you feel is good. Knowledge comes in this case from an intuition, from a presentiment of what is good.

And although I usually give a lot of importance to reason and the rational, I believe that our mind and our reason are more fallible than our intuition, because intuition, when we feel it, takes into account things that we know unconsciously, while our reason only works with what happens in our conscious mind, and that limits it.

So, when we do the right thing simply because we think it is right, I think I would be careful and self-reflective, to realize and have the discernment to know if that is truly right. Our mind can be easily deceived, and we may be believing that we should be, not what is good in reality, but what is good for the people who put this idea of good in our head. "Be obedient" can be a great example of this. "To whom? " is the question. But again, if you feel that's a good thing, then it can be a good thing for you.

I personally believe that doing good has a lot to do with feeling that what you are doing is right, because good is something very circumstantial and therefore varies depending on countless factors. What is good sometimes is not always good, I think. But if you feel that what you are doing is right, then somehow you know it is. That is why it is said love and do what you will. If you feel it, it's right, and if you don't feel it, it's probably not.

I think it all comes down to having the level of self-knowledge, self-awareness and self-reflection to discern when we are being ourselves and when we are not, when we are doing what we feel is right, and when we are doing what we think we should be doing. Although of course, I think the best is when we do what we think and feel is right, when there is no disconnection or contradiction.

Now, I am not saying that what is right is something that we subjectively decide, that is not true, what I am saying is that we recognize what is truly good in our particular circumstance through our intuition, through the feeling that it is indeed good. So... can you reconcile being yourself with being good?

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I agree with all of what you said. In particular, this part concerns me:

Our mind can be easily deceived, and we may be believing that we should be, not what is good in reality, but what is good for the people who put this idea of good in our head. "Be obedient" can be a great example of this. "To whom? " is the question.

Yes, a very good question, indeed.

I like to stretch the topic a little more.
At the moment it is very much in vogue to want to show oneself as a do-gooder.

The hypocrisy that is spreading due to the fact that for a year now the burning glass has been held up to those who are dying of a disease and who are supposedly wished to avoid death or not to become ill in the first place is, in my eyes, a complete lack of interest in reality.

In this reality, many people die every week. To pretend that I am personally affected by this, that my personal behaviour can change anything in this abstract reality, is human hubris and presumption. Since my thinking does not change anything in this reality, it is a fantasy to define myself as a good person because of it, because neither am I able to do anything about the fact that the people die anyway, nor can I do anything to ensure that these dying or sick people are adequately accompanied (by me). The many sufferers with whom I have no personal connection, neither met them nor have a special relationship with them, cannot provide any directly lived experiences. The only "experience" I believe I have in this regard is of a mental nature. I imagine that it is my business (to do good). In reality, however, I feel neither imminent sadness nor joy at what the many anonymous people are experiencing.

Every deed, no matter how well-intentioned, can turn into its opposite if it is not wanted by the recipient.

I can only find out whether something is perceived as good or bad if I am in direct physical relationship with someone, at the moment of my action to recognise myself openly, whether my good intention is actually also accepted as welcome by the other. Regardless of whether I myself understand it as good. If it is rejected by the other, I can no longer claim that I am doing something good.

I think there is a quick confusion between "omission" and "action". An omission at the moment of an interpersonal encounter shows up as "waiting". An act, on the other hand, is something that makes waiting impossible. Instead of rushing to action in a situation that does not indicate a very immediate threat to any of the parties involved, it is one's own experience that tells one that waiting and weighing is the wiser option. This requires self-confidence on the part of everyone involved. Why? Because I - and the other - have already experienced the living experience of wait and see as the greater success.

What we are currently experiencing seems to be a reversal of this principle. Where action is demanded of one immediately, people hesitate. Where waiting is called for, they rush into action.

My brother, who was in mortal danger several times in the last weeks, or at least felt that he was, had to literally persuade and even beg over and over again to a doctor on duty at night to help him. As she was unsure whether she would not get into trouble if her assistance failed. If she had failed to help, my brother would have suffocated, according to him. Thus, being good is reduced to situations that are wished not having direct negative consequences for the helper. As I assume my goodness by acting strictly by the book and apply that equally to all people, regardless of how the individuals themselves may feel about it, there can be no justification for that assumption.

So it happens: People who do not want to be saved are forced to be saved. People who desperately want to be saved are deprived of that salvation. I am always completely wrong with my do-gooder aspirations when I negate the other as an individual and ignore their responses, desires and signals. My goodness is then mere fantasy in my own head, incapable of any relationship with the other because I am unable to recognise the other in his being, his uniqueness.

The thing about this behaviour is that the people who find themselves asked for action by someone are more afraid of the consequences by their superiors than of the consequence between the parties themselves. This shifting of one's own responsibility to authorities makes it completely irrelevant how the act or omission is perceived by those involved, because the authorities supposedly take responsibility for it. But they cannot do that at all if they are not themselves involved. The doctor therefore took a risk by providing help that she would rather have seen provided by others. The fact that she did it anyway and finally helped has to do with the fact that my brother insisted and gave her the security and permission to act. But such things always become a problem when they go wrong and then others come along and try to understand or recreate a situation that is impossible to reproduce.

That's the problem I usually see with most of the written moral rules, that through universals they are unable to recognize the particularity and uniqueness of each situation in itself. And since good is a very circumstantial thing, many times people who follow such rules do what is supposedly right, but is actually wrong, and don't do what is supposedly wrong, but may sometimes be right. It takes skill and insight to have that discernment and to know when exceptions are, in fact, right.

Good to know that she helped him.



Cheers to you :)

That's the problem I usually see with most of the written moral rules, that through universals they are unable to recognize the particularity and uniqueness of each situation in itself.

are you perhaps familiar with the tao te ching ?

It gives a more fluid and flexible way of understanding the good, I think.

And isn't following the Tao basically being yourself?

So, I can agree with it.