Tuesday, August 18, 2015

THE MEMORY CARD OF MY GOOD DEEDS





Pic.: Pradeep Nanda

I know how important it is – for my mental sanity and peace – not to keep a scoreboard of all the good that I do in life. I find it very difficult not to… Yes, it is not easy to do good and throw it into the sea... as the old proverb suggests.

That’s why it is not easy to remain free from cynicism and bitterness in life…

I do good… and tend to keep a scoreboard – what good I have done, to whom, when, how much… and, along with that comes my expectations… Not necessarily, that they should do good in return or someone should reward me… but, mostly, I expect gratitude, appreciation courtesy… Yes, these basic expectations from the ones I reach out to, help…

I know, it is important to remain detached from even this basic courtesy and expectation… But, then, I am not such an enlightened soul, you see… I remain attached!

So, I tend to store the good that I do in my memory card… the scoreboard… And, there is this constant devil’s reminder, that people are thankless, discourteous… That, it is futile to do good… that, it is only going to hurt me more and more if I continue to do good…


Why do I do good? Why do I reach out?

Perhaps, in the answer to this question lies the remedy, too, for my bitterness and cynicism… For, if my act of goodness does not come from my inner fullness, my own sense of gratitude and reverence for life, it would be impossible for me not to cling on to the memory card of my good deeds… It would be impossible for me to do good and throw it into the sea…

“You should do good because that’s I how it should be – the nature, the dharma. There is nothing more to it.” This was how one of my well-wishers told me, the other day. “Do good and throw it into the sea,” he concluded, “but, don’t do so much good, that you throw yourself, too, into the sea along with your good!”

Probably, there is practical wisdom in what my well-wisher had said… That, even in the noble act of ‘doing good and throwing it into the sea’, we still cling on… We expect the fish in the sea to appreciate our goodness… So, he wanted to tell me this: “Friend, if the fish wouldn’t appreciate your good, the Creator would!”

May you be stronger in giving, not weaker… May you be wealthier, not poorer… May you not throw yourself into the sea along with the good you do…

Do good, for, that’s how it should be…

Now, who is telling this to whom?  Who is whose well-wisher?


GERALD D’CUNHA

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