(Originally published in July 2013.)
“The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.”
– Dr. Kent M. Keith, the Paradoxical Commandments
“Consciousness of right-doing brings its own reward; but not amid the smoke of battle is merit seen and appreciated by lookers-on… If your endeavors are beset by fearful odds, and you receive no present reward, go not back to error, nor become a sluggard in the race. When the smoke of battle clears away, you will discern the good you have done, and receive according to your deserving.”
– Mary Baker Eddy
It sure appears sometimes that injustice, bigotry, hatred, and inequality are winning the battle, doesn’t it? We crave justice. We yearn for equity and fair play. But we don’t always seem to find those things in the here and now. We might be tempted to feel discouraged and frustrated about the state of our world. We might be tempted to lose hope. We might even be tempted to just give up. But… well, if we just give up – what’s the alternative? To STOP trying to do good? To choose to be unkind? To choose to be dishonest? To deliberately and consciously choose to feel no joy? Those do not feel like healthy options to me.
The other day I decided to conduct a little experiment: I decided to make a bad day for myself. I had no idea how to go about this, really. I figured that making a bad day for myself would probably start with a bad attitude, though, right? About half an hour into my experiment I made the mistake of calling my mom. Within a minute she had me cracking up. So. Yeah. So much for my little experiment. After my inauspicious beginning, it didn’t get much worse, either. My experiment was a spectacular failure. I learned something from it, though. I learned that I’d have to work really hard to make a bad day for myself. And I faced the fact that I’m simply too lazy to have much success with that kind of thing.
Call me a naïve idealist, but I believe that good overcomes evil. I believe Love overcomes hate. I believe that wisdom overcomes ignorance. I believe Truth overcomes dishonesty. Always. I believe what Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “Though error hides behind a lie and excuses guilt, error cannot forever be concealed. Truth, through her eternal laws, unveils error.”
-Karen Molenaar Terrell