I think that a lot of the time, people are generous towards those whom they pity; but only find fault in those whom they see as better than themselves. There is a fake kind of goodness; and that is the goodness that is only good towards other people that make the givers feel better about themselves. Would you be good to someone you think is so much better than you are? Or who has so much more than you have? Or is your goodness only reserved for those who make you feel like a god because you give to them? Too often, there are shining, beautiful people, who suffer so much in this world, because there would be so many others willing to snuff out their flames! Goodness of a person is not measured by sympathy or compassion; rather, goodness is measured by empathy. Empathy goes beyond all the physical things you see with your two eyes. It's easy to be good to those you pity; much harder to be good to those whom you envy!
You have been raised with a mindset dictating that compassion and sympathy are the telltale factors of goodness in a man (or woman). We were all raised this way. But compassion and sympathy are qualities that are accompanied by pride, because you are aware that bending down makes you a good person. Your ego is gratified.
Just look at any Facebook account, google account, or Facebook Page! Everyone likes the Dalai Lama! And that's regardless of whether or not they actually understand Buddhism! They're mostly not even Buddhists, have no connection to Asia, and really, probably just like a few quotes they read of his. Why do people want to be associated with the Dalai Lama? That's easy! That is because there is an instant gratification of being seen as a person with generous and kind ideals! It's not about actually living that way from the heart; it's about association with something that makes them look good! Of course, I'm not saying that every single person who likes Dalai Lama is like this, but as someone who was supported early on into her career, by the Dalai Lama's team and crew, I am aware of the fact that he is actually a person. A person who yearns for human connection, who shouldn't be used as a quick ego boost.
The act of yearning to be seen as a good person, is a selfish act that does not come from the heart. Then what kind of goodness comes from the heart, you may ask. And why do I say that goodness is measured by empathy rather than by sympathy and compassion? That is because empathy is able to connect with another person, regardless of outward physical attributes. Empathy is what feels the pain of a person who's rich and powerful and doesn't need your help. Empathy is what feels the heart of another person who is beautiful, kind, happy and loved. Empathy goes beyond the physical stimuli that is responsible for evoking reactions and feelings; and instead, reacts to what is really going on inside of a person! People normally see only what the other people plainly show. But empathy is what sees beyond what is shown, and connects with that.
How easy is it to be good to those who make you look good whilst you are being kind to them? Politicians do that all the time! Beauty Queens do that all the time! But can a politician be kind to his fellow politician who is more popular than he? Can a beauty queen be kind to her fellow contestant who is surely going to win over her? You see— this is how true goodness and character is measured! It is measured by the extent that one has gone out of one's area of self-comfort, in order to connect with another human being! In order to be kind to another human being! You see, kindness is not a clothing that we wear! Kindness, in fact, is a state of the heart, a state of the soul! Can you be kind to a person when you know they are going to be responsible for making you look not-as-good as they are? And because someone is responsible for making you look not-as-great as you would like to be seen, simply by being themselves, does that immediately equate to them being bad people? Or is it you who is the bad person, because you cannot allow yourself to be seen as any lesser than how you want to be seen? Is it actually you who possesses the bigger ego in this case? I have learned many a time over, that it is often those who have lesser, who are the most arrogant and the most proud! Why? Because arrogance and pride is all that they really have to hold onto!
Very often, you will find a very good person wrapped behind a layer of thorns; not wanting to be seen as good! Not wanting to be known as kind! Why? Because they know that it hurts to be good and to be kind! Because people take advantage of those virtues! And the reason why they have been hurt so much in life, is for the very reason that they are kindhearted, they are warmhearted, they are gentle! And yet, do we stop to see these people, to recognise and to validate these people? Hardly! We are too busy validating those who fit the moulds and the cookie cutter image of what it means to be a "good person"!
Should people in this world be punished because they are more beautiful, because they have been loved more, because their house is bigger? I don't think so. This is the same evil that causes poverty and shame and hardship in the world, because the evil that causes that is in itself of that nature; it does not actually matter where and who it is emanating from! When it comes from the rich— it destroys. When it comes from the poor— it destroys. The evil of destruction is of itself within its own nature and it may permeate anyone and any form that it likes.
I admit, I am partial to empaths, I am partial towards the highly sensitive individuals, I am partial to those whom I know can see more and feel more and know more! I have a bias towards those who are like myself, because I know that we feel ourselves in everyone and in everything and I know that we suffer more because of this, we give more because of this, we endure more because of this. And do we have to? No, not really. We could simply stop caring if that's what we wanted to do. Switch it off. It's either all or all. No in-betweens. Why should we suffer more, for anyone? Would anyone else suffer more, for us?
You measure the goodness of another by the other's ability to forgive you; but look at yourself first! Whom have you not forgiven? You measure the goodness of another by the other's willingness to help you; but look at yourself first! How far would you actually go to help another? You tend to measure the goodness of another by what is done unto you; but do you measure your own goodness in the same way? Better yet, why measure the goodness in others, at all? Why not preoccupy yourself with measuring yourself; instead of measuring others? Because the greatest work that is to be done, and that we can only actually really do, is the work upon ourselves! To find the faults in ourselves and to fix those! To find the cracks in ourselves and then to mend those! We are all carpenters, sculptors, masons, builders! But the greatest temple that we need to build, is the temple within our own souls! And we cannot build our own temples, when we are so preoccupied with how other people are building or not building, their own!
Take upon you the eyes of true kindness— which is empathy— and connect with those whom you envy, those who have more than you do, those who make you feel lesser than what you are. Connect with those who are kinder, who are happier, who are gentler. Connect with someone who is more beautiful! Cultivate real goodness, today.