We all aspire to goodness, since it allows us to improve our self-esteem and consequently to be happy. However, in spite of this common aspiration, we notice that this purpose is not really realized by all. Striving for good without totally reaching it is rather reasonable since it is an absolute, nevertheless many go astray in their search. How is this possible?
First of all, not all of us have been lucky enough to have grown up in an environment that favored the adherence to values whose goal was to bring us closer to the good. Living in a nihilistic era where “all values” are equal, it is now easier to get lost and eventually take a path that leads us to the darkness of the soul.
I would say above all that in order not to lose oneself, one should not reject the idea of the existence of good or evil. The goal is not to become Manicheist but rather to recognize that good exists, otherwise it would be difficult to want to be a servant of it. It is not easy to always know if we are on the right track, especially if we refuse to question ourselves.
Often, the problem lies in our own subjectivity: we are obsessed by what we are and this egotistical relationship to the world distorts our ability to judge.
Cultivating a form of humility is essential to stay on the path of goodness. Observing others and recognizing their qualities is also very important to improve oneself. When we become too self-centered, we tend to ignore the beauty in others while being complacent about our own shortcomings. Knowing how to admire beauty wherever it is found is essential to keep the right course.
All philosophical, religious or spiritual schools teach in one way or another the path of virtue. Their approaches, although different, can all lead to the same result.
On the other hand, the development of virtue was for a long time an important dimension of the school which had a moral vocation. However, given that the idea of morals or values has disappeared from many school programs, one can understand the confusion in which young people find themselves. This is all the more worrying as these wanderings have spread to a large part of our elites, whether they are political or economic. The inability to give an opinion on what is good or bad shows the level of moral decay that exists.
Here is a track that can be implemented in our daily life to reconnect with this idea:
Define one or more values by which we would like to live: benevolence, courage, justice, truth, honesty, humility, wisdom, loyalty, audacity, respect, openness, curiosity, solidarity, love, forgiveness, compassion, brotherhood, compassion, service, sacrifice, self-sacrifice, etc.
See to what extent we can act to embody this value
Then, meditate on the intentions and consequences of the action. Have we lived up to the value we wanted to embody?
Repeat the process with as many values as possible for all daily actions and life choices