Last month I spoke about Good People, and gave some examples. That prompted me to think, why are people good? Why do we consider compassion towards another, assisting someone in need or simple acknowledgement and empathy as “good”. Secondly, why do so many people act upon those values and ideals. Heck, it is most often not an easy thing to do “good”. Sometimes it is downright difficult. Let’s first look at this from a pure logic perspective. If there were no afterlife, no greater direction beyond ourselves, and if there is no purpose to suffering, why then would human beings have a innate desire to help one another? What purpose would it satisfy? To perpetuate the species perhaps, to what end? If there is no greater goal than to perpetuate the species, and we know that everyone on earth will have suffering through their lives, then that would logically mean that perpetuating the species results in a continuation of suffering without purpose for the species as well. That concept defies logic in conjunction with the human experience of “being good”. I submit that our existence, and our perpetuation, is logical only when we add that our purpose is something greater than just ourselves. What brings us to that purpose and how we judge ourselves comes from our sense of “good”. That innate sense in all human beings has its source from our greater purpose. That greater purpose comes from the One who created us. God, who made us, provides all of us with an internal understanding of what is positive and negative behavior, resulting in “good and bad”. I have referred to this in past messages as God’s thumbprint. It is interesting to note that in all societies, even the most isolated and primitive, there are common rules/laws about basic life issues such as marriage and the taking of another’s life. We have a soul, God wants us to be with Him, so he imprints on our souls an understanding of what it takes to be with Him. He gives us the tools to accomplish this, our conscience, reasoning and free-will. When we act in accordance with God’s design, there is a sense that we have been a part of God’s plan, that we did the “right thing”. We as a species hold in regard and respect acts of good towards the community. We recognize and reward those who demonstrate actions that fulfill needs that go beyond themselves and help the human community as a whole. We are inspired by such demonstrations of selflessness and honor. Why? Logic dictates, these actions satisfy a desire to move humanity towards a greater good. It moves us closer to our Creator and towards happiness and peace beyond this life.
In closing, I feel the need to mention another example of good people. Recently, a brother Knight in our 4th degree assembly passed away. His name is Jerry Frederick. In the few years I knew him, I found him to be a kind and gentle soul, a fine gentleman. About once a year in our meetings Jerry would raise his hand and vent on a particular issue. His message was this…all too seldom he would see people in the congregation at church bow their heads in respect when the name of Jesus Christ is uttered. Even less often did he witness bowing one’s head whenever the cross passed by. I remember my parents taught me this as well but I am as guilty as anyone. I am trying to be more cognizant. I think Jerry would approve of us extending this message along. It is after all a way to recognize the greatest act of selflessness that humanity has witnessed. It should remind us of the greater good we are working towards.