“When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.” (A. Lincoln), from the Jack’s Winning Words blog.
I think you could do a lot worse than have as your religion what Abe Lincoln was talking about. At least his little statement seems to acknowledge the difference between right and wrong and the ability to discern which is which in his daily life. Much has been written about all of the good that Lincoln did, but there was probably a little bad in his life, too; as is the case with all of us.
How about you? Do you feel good when you’ve done something good, even if there is no one to acknowledge the act or heap praise upon you? Just as important; do you feel bad when you know you’ve done something bad? In a newspaper article today, about a trial just concluded for a man who killed a small child, the judge exceeded the sentencing guidelines and sent the man to prison for a longer time because she said that he showed no remorse for his actions. When you’ve done bad, do you feel and show remorse?
Some people have a hard time accepting praise for the good that they do. For them, their actions just reflect that they did what needed to be done, not something extraordinary. They avoid the fuss and praise of those seeking to thank them, almost in embarrassment. These are people for whom just the self-satisfaction of having done something good is enough reward. Others may require a little pat of encouragement and reward on the back in order to reinforce their feelings of satisfaction. Are you content with your own feelings of accomplishment when you’ve done good?
Many of those who are more prone to doing bad seem to have developed the ability to blame their misdeeds on others or on circumstance. Do the looters in St. Louis really believe that they deserved what they stole because of the earlier incident with the police or because of some long-standing set of circumstances that they felt held
them down? I doubt it. They just saw an opportunity to steal under the cover of a civil protest and they took that opportunity. Do they feel bad about it? I doubt that, too. They have no religion. When you do something bad, don’t try to find a way to blame others or your circumstances, just acknowledge that you made a mistake, accept responsibility and the consequences and move on in life. If you are fortunate there will be a way available to you to make things right
So, take Lincoln’s words to heart in your daily life. When you do good; feel good about it. When you do bad, acknowledge it, feel bad about it and then try to make things right or at least to avoid doing the same bad again. I suspect, if you even took time to think about the choices in front of you, that doing the right thing (the good thing) is an easy call. It’s also a time saver. You don’t have to waste your time feeling bad, being remorseful and trying to make things right again, if you do the right thing in the first place.
Have a great day and do the right things!