Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Hypocrisy of Being Good

I'll do something right now that I swore I'd never do when I created this blog. I'm going to tell you what I made for breakfast 30 seconds ago. But bear with me, there's a good reason for my breaking of faith.

I made a peanut butter and honey sandwich. To my dismay, I lacked both a banana and my flax seeds. The banana I could do without, less so the flax seeds. You see without the addition of the flax seeds, this was junk food. What was I eating? Bread. Empty starch. Mitigated of course by the fact that I always choose the high-fiber oat bread, but it was bread nonetheless. And it was an absurd, 2 slices of bread. And spread on it was my always generous helping of peanut butter as well as honey. But, were I to add the omega-3's of flax seeds, in my mind, suddenly this became a nourishing and life promoting food. "Being good" meant that I had to eat this sandwich with my ground-up flax seeds. 


It's the same hypocrisy that leads people to think they've "earned" an order of General Tso's chicken or potato chips or night at the bar by going to the gym. Is it any wonder that these types of people never make progress in their workouts. They've been pushing small plates since high school.

If I took my car to the shop, got a full tune-up done. Have I earned the right to slash the tires and smash the windshield? Do I wash my clothes so that I can start running through mud and brambles? This is idiocy. 

But I've been participating in it. And now I realize "being good" is not good enough. It never has been. "Being good" will never get you anywhere. I search my mind but find nothing when I think of people who climbed to great heights by "being good." Jesus did not live "being good" as we use the phrase in common parlance. He did not live by accruing a savings of good deeds to be cashed out to spend on actions he would call "bad." No, a life of integrity is quite far from a life of "being good." The actions may appear the same but the motives are certainly different.

Consider Edison for example. He doesn't draw up 5 schematics for his light bulb and then say "Now I've done my daily quota. I was good. Let me now go and cash it in by going and playing Pokemon on my Nintendo DS." That kind of inventor, that kind of human goes nowhere in life. But it's quite another thing to say "I've spent 10 hours working today and have produced 5 schematics. I'm going to go and get my mind off of this project so that I can come back to it refreshed." He may very well go and play Pokemon as that other activity but I wouldn't criticize it. Well, perhaps a little. I'm looking at motive.

Why are you doing what you do? If you truly want to accomplish your goals, if there's something currently out of your reach that beckons your heart then friend, let me just say, you won't get it by being good. Re-organize your life. What's important? Build around this as your core. What's hindering you? Throw it out. What's left? Fit it in if you can. That's a life of integrity.

No comments:

Post a Comment