This post may be a little uncomfortable. For you, for me and for many of us. Many of us consider a life where we try to limit the hurtful and bad things we do, to be a good life. To some extent, this is true. Trying to do as few things to hurt your fellow man certainly makes the world a better place. Is it really enough? Voltaire reminds us in the quote above, that if we know of a good we could have done, but did not, we are guilty. Has there been a time when you know there was something good you could have done but did not? Maybe you did not have the time? Maybe you lacked the energy? Were you too nervous? Perhaps a little too shy? These are all true and valid reasons. Yet, if we deny some good to the world or our fellow humans, we are guilty as charged.
I know that I have been guilty of this as much as anyone. How many times have you thought about calling a friend or sending them a text message and then just became “too busy”? Meant to tell your spouse how wonderful they looked or made you feel, but then reconsidered it? Did you think it would sound silly? Maybe that they would not believe you? If you denied that good, you are guilty. I have worked my life to improve on this. I find when I have given all the good that I can in a day, that I can rest peacefully that night. Knowing that I did my best to bring all the good that I can to the world gives me a feeling of inner peace that is difficult to put into words. I am not always perfect, and I certainly have some work to do. I do my best to keep this quote of Voltaire in the back of my mind as I go through my day and would think it would benefit most of us to do the same
Remember, you are not only guilty of all the bad you did do, but also all of the good you did not do. Uncomfortable thought? Yes. It is still true. Let us take advantage of every good presented to us today.