The word Good, is defined as many things by the Cambridge Dictionary. One instance of the definition is “successful, or able to do something well” while another means “morally right”. There is also a classic favourite definition which is “having a positive or useful effect”.
A positive and beneficial impact – That is usually what one aims when doing an act of goodness, an act of kindness, an act of selflessness. But why? In today’s world where it is easy to just “turn the other cheek” for a wrong that occurred right in front of us, where it is easy to just be invested in our own problems and not concern ourselves with the difficulty of others, why should we be doing good deeds?
Because it is the right thing to do. There is not one religion that does not call upon its followers to do good deeds. It is a universally accepted act, one that brings out the best in people, one that is proven by research to be good for the mental health, one that can inspire even the most cynical person to believe in humanity again.
Doing good requires us to choose that which is right, instead of choosing that which is easy
People of all race and religion have the power within them to propagate goodness and positivity and this can be done by striving to eliminate hatred, prejudices, irrational fear, and also biased assumptions. We should all strive together to spread moral virtues despite our differences in faith, skin colour or even nationality.
For Muslims, there is an ayah in Surah Al-Maidah that states our differences, be it in religion or race, should not hinder us from working together to bring peace and positivity into this world. This diversity is in fact welcomed and should be embraced with compassion because at the end of the day, all we want is to do good and hopefully, inspire the people around us to do the same thing as well. As stated in ayah 48 :
“We have appointed a law and a practice for every one of you. Had God willed, He would have made you a single community, but He wanted to test you regarding what has come to you. So compete with each other in doing good. Every one of you will return to God and He will inform you regarding the things about which you differed.”
Belittle Not Even The Smallest Of Effort
Some promote a good cause or deed actively. They see injustice, they fight for it openly, demanding for what is just and fair. They join protests, campaigns and rallies. Some form non-profit organizations, some form charity-based institutions. Then there are those who are physically helping the society, the ones “on the ground” feeding the homeless and rescuing stray cats or dogs.
Some promote a good cause or deed passively. They advocate certain values online, through writing, through art, through new media (digitally via social media), raising awareness concerning issues that people might not be comfortable in being publicly vocal about. Like the exploitation of children in sexual abuse cases. They share online articles and support e-campaigns to raise awareness and to pique our interest.
Some promote a good cause or deed intellectually. They read, spread the knowledge in terms and contexts that the public can understand, organize conferences and public lectures to educate us, to challenge us to not become victims of those who oppress us, those who take advantage of us, to subtly provoke our thoughts and consciousness in determining what is morally right and wrong.
Some promote a good cause or deed emotionally. They are able to empathetically feel the pain and plight of refugees and they advocate this cause by touching other people’s hearts, subtly opening these hearts and making them understand the suffering of others, what it must have been like for those who are less fortunate than the lucky ones. They make us empathize, not sympathize with the sufferings of the less fortunate.
Whichever method of doing good we choose, it is important to remember that no method is better than the other.
A small effort is still an effort. It is not the size that matters but the thought and intention that we put behind it. If by one effort, a person is able to bring a positive impact into someone’s life, that is better for him or her than doing nothing at all.
There is a quote by Edmund Burke that succinctly justify why we should not only do good things but become good people who do good things. He said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Let us become good people and let us all do good things. Let goodness and kindness be translated within our actions, our writings, our speech and our thoughts.