I will be perfectly honest: if it were asked of me, right now, to lay down my life because it would contribute any measure of goodness AT ALL to the world, my eyes wouldn’t have time to blink before I submitted to that request.
If I were a person differently situated, at a stage of life that held more promise of my generative success to give back something meaningful with my efforts, I might at least ask one or two probative questions prior to jumping on that request like it is the best deal in town wrt getting this living crap
over with, already.
That simply isn’t the best head space to indulge oneself. The mind can be a dangerous neighborhood to roam around when it is dark inside.
What I find much more confounding than having these kinds of thoughts, is the willingness of many people to over react to their suspicion someone is suicidal, even making a 911 call based on no other input but what they presume true, to prevent the person from ending their life, but are just as unwilling to make more than the least effort to provide that same person help that would help improve that same life or even prevent that life being otherwise lost to brutal forces such as exposure, illness, or as the slow wasting away in a state of despair and poverty.
These people won”t help a person to change what puts their life at risk yet believe they should make.sure the other person is kept from deciding what they are willing to endure before choosing not to live as they do not wish. So, you not only consider my life unworthy of your trouble but you also fel entitled to decide I have to live no matter how much suffering must continue.
I bet you don’t think you know anyone that would fit this description.
I think it much more probable that you might be this person and not be aware that you are.
I like to tell myself I can think upon emotionally charged concepts rationally if I am committed to intellectual honesty, allowing for many possible points of view.
So, I would also like to believe I have come to my conclusions as the consequence to this rigor in practice.
I have concluded that the person described as giving inconsistent messages about the value of another person”s life is a person common to many many more than people actually believe.
All of us think we are much nicer people than our behavior and thoughts reflect.
What we want to do and even say we will do is not the same as what is actually done. But, we credit ourselves for thinking about doing good despite not delivering on that thought. And if the conscience is pricked, there is always a very justifiable excuse why our actions aren’t following from the truly good thoughts we may mistake as intention.
Thinking something does not make it true. Emotions, no matter their strength, are not facts. Help is not what is done to someone, but what is done for someone that includes what the person helped knows is or is not helpful.
Much of what we do that we assert is help causes the one needing help more problems that worsen their state. Then, they also are criticized as being ungrateful.
If you presume to know more about what will help me than I do, or if you presume helping me can be successful without consideration of my input or without regard to potential risk of causing harm, I want to be very clear and direct: You are a dangerous person and until you correct your thinking, I will keep a safe distance between us when I am in a state of vulnerability.
How do we know that we might not really be as helpful and nice as we think we are?
The next time you are given an opportunity to give someone the help they need that will end any amount of their immediate suffering AND you have the means to do so even if it creates a temporary inconvenience to your comfort, listen to what you tell yourself then pay attention to what you actually do.
Most, when presented with a chance to give relief to another by giving up an amount of money or personal comforts or effort will not be willing to make a sacrifice of inconvenience. Their action is typically to remain silent to the request or to call into question whether the person really deserves or needs the help asked for.
The people who are too afraid to give up what little they have, even if it will stop someone’s immediate suffering at the expense of their having to go without something they want usually say something to themselves along the lines of “I feel uncomfortable knowing a person in my life is being hurt by what she is experiencing. I can barely cover my own expenses otherwise I would help.” The test of what is said but much more quietly is “i choose to keep my convenience and mine up so that person suffers less.” And a message may be given that says ™I really wish I could help. But I can”t.” In truth, and I know this is very hard to hear, they probably do wish they could help but unfortunately they won’t because for whatever reason, the other person’s well being wasn’t worth the trouble.
But that won”t come up when we conceive ourselves as being nice or good. It will have justification.
According to the beliefs that influence how I choose right from wrong, I think most people are not nearly as nice, good or well intended as they believe themselves to be. Of course they can cite any number of instances where they were good, generous or kind to other people. But the question becomes how difficult those instances really were. It’s easy for even the most depraved criminal to be nice and kind and good in general with the right people under ordinary circumstances and without too much effort.
Are you really a good person or are you more accurately, a good person when conditions favor doing good, and when conditions require an effort for doing good, being a good person is at most only wished for.
In my opinion, being a good person requires doing good when it doesn’t suit our needs and there is no reward except the one that exists in our own acknowledgment of choosing to do what we believe is good and right.
Not as many people are committed to that path of development of their person. They give when those among them say they need to think about themselves or that they give you much or that they are foolish to let themselves be taken advantage of or for giving to people they don’t know or don’t deserve what they are given.
Contrary to what they would have them believe, the one who say these things are not doing so out of concern for the person who is giving. They do so because the good they see being done in the world by someone else is a light that casts shadows where they are doing nothing. It threatens them with fear of appearing less good when someone is lighting up the world too close to where they watch from darkness.
By questioning and claiming a concern for the one doing good, this person creates confusion and positions themselves superior to the one who they envy for being what they can only wish they could be and doing good because they truly want to be good.