41 – GOODNESS IS THE NECESSITY OF LIFE
We are the by-products of our past actions. Our good or bad previous actions in previous lives make who we are, what we will face. The wise who knows the truth of life choose to improve and better life courses by building up new good actions and good deeds (karma). It can be compared to moving into a new house. We can remodel or add where it is necessary, fix the ugly parts and upgrade it as needed. Life contains similar opportunities. Although our fate is formed by previous actions, we have the choice to rearrange or improve it, depending on our life’s journey. As mentioned earlier, goodness is the necessity of life. Therefore, we must have strong belief in goodness when fixing ourselves up and must not lose hope or fall backward in life.
Some people are easily prone to goodness and some are easily attracted to evil. It would be easy to place the blame on the modern world's inclination toward materialism and luxurious inventions, but the true answer is not external. It is easy to use outside elements as scapegoats to excuse greed, anger, lust and other shortcomings. However, the problem does not arise from the outside world but from within ourselves. So the solution must come from our own determination. Evil and goodness can never live together. People who have their minds enclosed within virtue at all times find evil as dirty, unwholesome and disgusting; therefore, their minds are free from enormous outside temptations and defilements. To the contrary, those people whose minds are fed daily with evil thoughts and dirty temptations find negative forces as tempting and acceptable and would do anything to fulfill the evil urges.
A generally good person is well regarded; an exceptionally good person is well respected; a supremely good person is highly revered. People who live their daily lives complying with the law, posing no threat, harm, or danger to others are termed as generally good. People who live their daily lives complying with the law, posing no threat, harm, or danger to others and have established themselves in sila (moral codes of good conduct), train and restrain their senses are termed exceptionally good. People who live their daily life complying with the law, posing no threat, harm, or dangers to others, observe full code of sila, refrain their senses, practice the Dhamma through meditation and insight, purified from all defilements and temptations are duly classified as supremely good. For the supremely good, even their belongings, their remains, and the ground they walked on become sacred and revered for people to pay their respect and gratitude.