If being generous and giving of myself makes me feel good, why don’t I do it more often? If I have enough time to sit around reading mind-numbingly dull posts on Facebook, or read the same type of stuff over-and-over on Reddit, or get in stupid online debates about anything, why do I always use the excuse that I don’t have enough time to help someone?
What is it that shuts down any urge to be generous, even when the execution of that urge makes me feel happy? If you’re of certain religious persuasions, you would call “it” Satan. That seems like a fitting description, and I’m gonna run with this. If God represents any urge that is caring, generous, and unconditionally giving, then Satan would represent the counter-urge to shut that down; the feeling of laziness, the feeling of apathy, the feeling of being self-centered. If God is peace, Satan is war. If God is the hard way, Satan is the easy way out. If God is love, Satan is hate.
Think about what heaven and hell represent. If Hell is the complete absence of God, then Hell would be the complete absence of all caring/generous/giving urges. Hell on Earth would be a place or a time where/when people literally only think about themselves. A place where someone who has just spotted a dying person on the side of the road will pull over just long enough to grab the man’s wallet and expensive watch before driving off again. A place where, if your neighbor’s house is burning, you stay inside yours and watch, all the while feeling thankful that it’s happening to him and not you. Hell would be a place where you would steal bread from a starving child because you’re hungry; a place where every waking/breathing moment is dedicated to self-gain at all costs. Hell would be a drowning pool. If you can’t succeed, you pull everyone else down to your level so you can feel good about yourself. You pray for the failures of others so you can succeed.
Such would be a truly hellish world. A world where every evil act doesn’t have to be rationalized anymore. You simply do the things you do for self-preservation. Every man for himself.
Giving to others is like going to the gym for your spirit. Just as I exercise my body to keep it strong and healthy, I should do the same for my soul. Too often, I neglect my spiritual health in exchange for physical happiness. People can see my body and judge me for how it looks, so of course I’m going to put effort into making it look decent. Nobody can see my soul. Nobody can see the state of my spiritual health, so why worry about it? That’s the mentality. Yet, what kind of person would I be if I continued to allow my spirituality to decay? I would become a hollow shell, entirely of this world, seeking out physical pleasures and material joy. I would be of no benefit to anyone; just get me high and let me relax. That would be my life. Maybe that is my life.
I’m always complaining about the state of humanity, but it’s time I actually tried to “be the change [I] want to see in the world.” I dislike when people judge me, as I mentioned in my not-so-sober post before this, but I still judge other people based on how they dress, whether they work, etc, as if these are the criteria to be a good human being. There are plenty of people who dress sharp and have high paying jobs that are dead spiritually.
The true evil in my life is my possessions, especially the money that I’m starting to make. What is it about money? Humans, being the flawed creatures that we are, seem to associate the joy of the experiences and things money can buy with the money itself. Money isn’t a means to an end with us, it’s the end itself. Money’s only purpose is to be spent, so why do I want to hoard it?
I’m all for the “rainy day fund,” because that’s called expecting the unexpected. I’m all for saving money so you can pay rent, pay for groceries, pay bills, pay loans, etc. Nobody thinks highly of the guy who just blows all his money the second he gets it.
What about the rest of the money, though? The “play money?” What about that? Why don’t people want to spend their play money? It’s play money! What is it about seeing money in our bank accounts that makes us happy? We aren’t doing anything with that money, we’re just holding on to it. We’re not waiting for something to come up that will make us want to spend it. We’re simply holding it for the sake of seeing it in our bank account, because that’s what makes us happy.
Someone comes up to us and asks us for money, and we don’t give any. I might have $100 in cash in my wallet, so what makes me think I’m more entitled to this money than a homeless person? Because he might blow anything I give him on alcohol? Who am I to judge? The dude is homeless! If anyone could use a drink, he does. Is it because I worked for it? Is that how I want society to operate? You get nothing if you didn’t work for it? Oops, sorry, no medical care for you because you didn’t do anything to earn it. You need money to feed your kids? Sorry, get a job. You’re homeless? YOUR FAULT.
Remember the hellish world I described? Imagine the opposite. The only way we can achieve that is my fighting against that counter-urge, that evil presence within ourselves that convinces us, through rationalization, not to care for anyone else; to elevate ourselves above others.
I need to remind myself that I can’t take ANYTHING, not even my own body, into the afterlife. I need to remind myself that, as long as we’re all here on this Earth, we should make the best of this situation and create a beautiful and loving reality.