What does it mean to be a good person? Do you have to obey a bunch of rules, follow a list of moral guidelines, or practice certain rituals in order to become a good person? Or, are you already a good person who is being stifled by all these rules?
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Do guidelines make you a good person?
Tao Te Ching verse 38 suggests one who follows a certain set of guidelines in order to become a good person is a foolish man. It tells us a truly good person is not even aware of his or her goodness.
On this week’s mastermind, Karen Lohof shared a story about a small act of kindness from a young woman she had never met. The woman wasn’t acting out of desire to follow moralistic values or a specific code of conduct, she simply was kind.
I think this verse is trying to tell us that someone who is ‘a good person‘ doesn’t act good because of some earthly dictated guideline.
If you need to follow guidelines, moral values, rituals, etc, in order to ‘be a good person’ you aren’t following the Tao. If you have to review a set of rules before you act, you aren’t following your true nature.
A good person is true to himself
Ones who are true to themselves (the Tao), act without thought of right or wrong, good or bad, religious or not, the simply ARE.
“A truly good man is not aware of his goodness”
He doesn’t need to be. He simply is.
Religion, government, schools, etc all try to tell us that we must have rules otherwise there would be chaos! Supposedly we would all run amok and the world would go to hell!
A good person already knows what to do
But, I think we all already know what to do and how to be. However, most people don’t follow their own true natural tendencies. Most are desperately trying to live up to some sort of status, expectation, rules, regulations or the desires and beliefs of others.
All of those things get in the way and cause us to question everything we think or feel. Or worse, they cause us to rebel against everyone telling us what we should do and cause us to do nothing instead.
How crazy is that?
“Your nature is to be a good person because you came from the Tao which IS Goodness. But when you are trying to be good, your essential nature becomes inoperative. In your effort to be good, moral, or OBEDIENT you lose touch with your Tao nature.”
To many crazy rules cause even a good person to become rebellious
I personally think that the more rules you have or the more you try to get people to conform to a certain way of acting, the more you cultivate rebellious behavior. On the Saturday mastermind today, Donna told us that one of the things that sparked her to feel rebellious as a teen was her father saying “It’s my way or the highway!”.
For me, it was my parents saying “because I said so” or at school it when they told us we were going to ‘burn in hell’ if we didn’t obey.
Anytime anyone tries to make us conform in some sort of way, whether it’s the government, our parents, teachers, etc, the natural response is a desire to do the exact opposite!
No one likes to be told what to do or how to do it.
Chaos brings good people together
Today, we talked about how major disasters bring out the best in people. Why is that?
When chaos happens and society falls apart, rules tend to fly out the window and tons of people suddenly flock together to help one another! Seems like the opposite of what they say will happen huh?!!
Sure, there is always going to be someone stealing or being aggressive in those situations, but we have those people whether there are rules or not! I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about the average person.
We’ll be discussing Chapter 39: Tao Te Ching verse 39
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What do YOU think? Do rules make YOU a good person?
What if there weren’t any rules? Would you run amok just because there isn’t someone telling you what you should or shouldn’t do?
a good person