The Big Deal About Doing Good
By Rachel Britton
What motivates us to do good?
WE’RE ASKING THAT TOO
You don’t have to be a saint to do good in the world. In other words, you don’t have to be driven by faith or get your motivation from religious beliefs. Although, of course, plenty of people do. The best example I can think of in our lifetime is Mother Teresa, and she has been made a saint. Well deserved, too.
However, charitable work is not confined to the Christian and Roman Catholic faith. Let’s face it, helping others is common across all religions. It’s one of the pillars in the Muslim faith.
Helping others is common to those without religion or faith, too. I’m glad it is, because this world needs all the help it can get. “Bring it on,” I say. Do good to other people, to animals, and to our environment.
It seems then, that “doing good” is a natural desire in every one of us, with a few exceptions along the way. No one group of people has a monopoly on generosity or being charitable. And may I also say, we who have faith should understand that we can learn from those who do not.
Goodness, then, seems to be part of human nature.
That leads me to ask, where does the good in human nature originate? Perhaps it developed as mankind progressed along the way. Maybe it was instilled in humans from the very beginning. Regardless, it seems it had to originate somewhere.
It’s not impossible that our inherent goodness is a natural part of who we are because it has been imparted to us by someone who made us. Of course, we can learn good behavior from our parents or other significant people in our lives. But, more than that, just like a child resembles his or her parents, we bear the hallmarks of a God who plays a part in the making of all of us. God says he is instrumental in our coming into being. He describes himself as a Father and we are his children, whether we choose to acknowledge the relationship or not. We can’t get away from the characteristic feature of being good as coming from our heavenly Father.
Believing God is good can be a stumbling block. I don’t disagree. When bad things happen outside my control, I ask, “Why, God?”
Perhaps, though, instead of questioning God’s qualities, we should acknowledge the good he gives us in order to do our part in this world. Of course, we can’t control everything (good or bad) that happens, but we can be responsible and do our best. God, I believe, wants people to do good for him on earth. We are not puppets or pawns at the mercy of what happens around us; we can be proactive to bring goodness to everything and everyone we know.
God wants us to care for the world, look after each other, and do the most good we can. Let’s be women who recognize what we have and what we can do.