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How Being Good "Shot" Me "In the Foot"

Updated: Apr 16

Recent of my contemplations reveal that, while I strove for the large majority of my life to be good, I have basically done so for the, so-called, "wrong" reasons. It can be explained by an anecdote I remember from my childhood: I once smashed an ant with my foot during recess or something. A witness to the "murder" of the ant approached me and asked me: "Would you want to be smashed too, if you were an ant? After all, we don't choose to be humans or ants".

At hindsight, that person's question may seem just in morality, but when thinking about it further, it expresses the desire to be good for the "wrong" reasons; just in the name of self-servitude, and nothing further.

The philosophy of being good just to get oneself covered, is basically corrupt, simply because the INTENTION in hand is CORRUPT. In other words, that person themselves wouldn't kill the ant because he cares for the life and future of the ant. He merely wants to not be killed themselves, if the roles were reversed, and he were the ant, and the ant were the stepping human.

Perhaps this is the reason why I suffered so much throughout my life, even though I wanted to be good at all costs. It was merely for the sake of not being the accused one, the one at fault, and not for the sake of the sanctity of good.

To not be the student yelled for not doing their homework; To not be the kid, yelled and punished by his parents, for doing bad things; To be the law-abiding citizen, simply to not be branded a criminal. What broke me mentally was, eventually, the desire to be a good worker, simply for not being condemned as an incompetent and, thus, disposable employee.

My lifelong-growing anxiety to be good, was made simply for not being branded as bad, and not for the sake of serving good, in the name of good. That was, and is, ultimately, my karmic sin; the reasoning of my suffering, and ultimately, the creator of my chronic fatigue, which does not allow me the basic right to work.

The education system, at least the western one, is flawed, because we as students were taught to be good simply for our own good, and to escape condemnation by others and by ourselves. That is a flaw, as that philosophy lacks honesty; it lacks the intention of doing good in the name of doing good. Perhaps, this is why we suffer nowadays. Because we are anxious to "cover our butts" with good deeds, while in reality, care mostly, if not entirely, about ourselves.

This is what creates the fear of coming clean publicly, and the safety, that lies in being fake.

Why do we love fiction? Fiction allows us to see characters who are truly honest about themselves, especially the villains, the antagonists. When a fictional villain confesses to the hero their true intentions, they usually do so with little to no regret. If they had regret for the deeds they did, they would not be villains, but anti-villains.

If we are ourselves the creators of fictional characters, that allows us to be truly honest about our true selves, true a mask and a medium that legitimizes it. You might not confess things to the "mask" of yourself, in real life, as that would have consequences. However, within the realm of fiction, that is not the same. You can be a tyrant, a narcissist, or a vengeance-seeker through murder, and as long as you do so through the mask of fiction, no one will suspect you; because of that, no one will CONDEMN you.

The contemporary, western desire to be good, comes from the fear of being condemned as the exact opposite. Real life is, eventually, a theater of its own; of people who do not have the "balls" to confess their true intentions; The same intentions that, practically, might make us deserve to be condemned. This is why, ultimately, reality contains plenty of fakeness in it.

That is true, especially when you climb the social ranks, and become a public figure. As a public figure, you eventually have to "sell" the public on what they truly want -- to follow and elect a person who is honest and just, even if, in reality, you are not at all that. Thus, the more popular you are, the more you will have to, eventually, hide things from the world, either through keeping secrets, or through deception.

The world does not have to be a "dog-eat-dog" world, but it nonetheless is because it is inhabited by a bunch of cowards. Cowards, who would refuse to crush ants, simply because they fear the reality where they are crushed themselves. If we were more honest with ourselves, not in private but in public, THAT is when we would be capable of healing ourselves and our morality through redemption and atonement.

Ultimately, why do I write so much? It is simply an escape. Not an escape from reality, but from the temptation to kill myself. That is the truth. I simply want to contribute, merely for the sake of not deeming my life worthless, and that of a parasite, who lives on welfare money. Thus, despite my good nature, I am, nonetheless, corrupted by egoism, and I have no one to blame but myself. That is what led me to suffer so much in this life, despite the fact that I did my best to not do anything wrong.

(As some of you know, my "nemesis", despite the suffering I brought to her life, confirmed my lack of wrongdoing despite her strong desire to rid me from her life, simply because I loved her. My sense of honesty, became my downfall).

And thus commences, the year of atonement. Only in brutal honesty, can atonement heal one's being, and hopefully, redeem it.

It is time to end the hypocrisy that lies behind being good; the one that educates people, but does not enlighten them to be sincere, to come clean. In the end, even if it's a generalization, we are all hypocrites in our own way, simply by the fact that we do not come clean with our true intentions.

Final note: Educators, teach your students to consume knowledge, not for the next grade, or to be good students! That would only corrupt them... Teach them to desire knowledge for its own sake. That way, you will avoid breeding the next generation of hypocrites, even if these hypocrites are, overall, good.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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