Punishing Good

As long as I can remember, from my earliest memories, I have been told that I should aspire to be a good man.  I should be generous and supportive.  I should turn the other cheek.  I should be humble.  I have spent my life trying to make this ideal a reality in my own life.  I say “we” when something works, “I” when it doesn’t.  I share credit and take blame.  I tell the truth and take responsibility for my actions. I do not use my power against the powerless.  Yet, I have not prospered following this ideal.

What kind of hypocrites are we when we pray on Sundays, then squander that grace the rest of the week?  We all know how to be good people, yet we choose not to be.  We adopt the attitude that if we have our boot on someone’s neck, we should push harder, not let up.  Better yet, we should have worn steel toed boots!  It permeates every aspect of our lives, from driving to business to our personal lives.  Living a good life is considered weakness in our society.  We’re all bullies waiting for someone weaker to come by so we can prop up our own low self esteem at the expense of another.

We all delude ourselves that we live in a community of compassionate people.  Instead of gathering behind the weak to support our ideals, we fall on each other like dogs to wrest the scraps from each other.  That soccer mom who just cut you off in traffic wouldn’t hesitate to ram you if the consequences weren’t so dire.

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