PERFORM GOOD ACTIONS
I know what’s good, and I think you do as well. It's part of us. we wouldn't have come this far if we didn't know right from wrong in terms of well-being. Sure, there's some regional differences in execution, and some bastardization into forms the rest of us might hardly recognize, like human sacrifice, or astrology, or infanticide and honor killing, and suicide bombing, though even these likely began under the mandate of the pursuit of well-being. But still, most of us have a fairly good sense of right and wrong. We know what makes others smile, or cry, or fall or flourish. The trick to keep our thought, effort and action moving in the direction of the well-being or others and ourselves which we inherently understand and which to find.
Though much of good action is almost instinctual or appears so in application, sometimes we need a little reminder or help to stay focused and active in doing good. First: what is it to “do good”? I define good as whatever improves the well-being of thinking creatures. This includes ourselves of course, as well as all of the animals we select to live with us, or which serve us for entertainment, companionship or food. Though these latter groups tend to offer us a challenge in reconciling a balance between well-being and the suffering brought about through the institution, process and mechanism of forced enclosure, containment and slaughter. This is a challenge emergent in the 21st century which may cause our descendants to look back on us with some pity, confusion and shame.
So, our understanding of the pursuit of well-being is largely instinctual. We know pain, and we don’t want it. And most of us do not want it to happen to others. This is our base. This is our desired standard. But sometimes we need to remind ourselves to try and do better.
I do this by reminding myself daily of my life’s objectives and principals. By asking myself how I’ve done so far, and what I could do to be better. I think over the past day, asking myself where I missed the mark, of didn’t do as good as I could have, or even where I failed outright. I then ask myself what I could have done better. I literally replay the event in my mind as a virtual second chance. I then lay out reasonable predictions of what might come tomorrow. So I can forecast my plan of action, and be ready to try again, to be ready to do good.
Notes from my muse