Mr Nice Guy

A few years ago I was facilitating a session at Kings College London entitled ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’ I could see someone in the crowd itching to speak. I gave her the opportunity. “I just want to help others and serve humanity – that is my religion” she said. “If I don’t believe in God does that mean I can’t be a good person?” It was a sticky situation, especially given the emotion with which she expressed her position. I didn’t want to come across judgemental, but shared a few simple thoughts with her.

– To be a good person means to do something beneficial for others
– In order to benefit someone, we need to know something about them – we have to understand what they need
– Until we come to the point of understanding the real self, we cannot understand the real needs of a person
– Self realisation necessitates God realisation – since the soul ultimately comes from God, how can we understand the self if we have no concept of its source?

Even though we may have the best motivations in the world, if we lack knowledge we’ll be limited in our attempts to help others. I may desire to help people medically, but if I don’t take the time to study medicine my best intentions may be a threat to society. Similarly, we may want to alleviate peoples suffering, but until we understand the root cause of the problems, our best efforts will still be frustrated. The greatest need in society is ‘good people’ – compassionate, knowledgeable & spiritually realised.

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