Author Topic: But I'm a good person....  (Read 24516 times)


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Re: But I'm a good person....
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2011, 05:27:46 PM »
Came across an old friend this past weekend. We chatted briefly about life.. and I commented that life is short and best to live it in the most beneficial way.

The respond i received was that he leads an already hectic life. He stated that he used to make other people happy but have had enough of it. He ended up stressed, no time for the family, and tired of it all.

This type of thinking is prevalent.

Where do we begin to shed some light with this type of self-absorption delusion.


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Re: But I'm a good person....
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2011, 09:29:14 AM »
I’m not sure that the late Mother Theresa isn’t a Bodhisattva appearing in the guise of this lovely person who has shown unrelentingly that the world must revolve around love and compassion.  Her actions of body, speech and(I am sure) mind are so pure and so full of compassion. The things she says are so Dharmic. The only difference is she takes refuge in a God who for her is Love and Compassion incarnate.

I have read a testimony of a Roman Catholic, who had prayed to the Virgin Mary, for his brother to be cured of cancer. Instead of the Virgin Mary, Avalokitesvara appeared to him, in a dream, as a Lady in White and assured him that his prayers would be answered. True enough, his brother was miraculously cured of his cancer soon after that. When this gentleman went around to check, he found a statue of the Lady of his dream in a temple and he has since become a Buddhist. He now spends all his time helping people in need.

Thus do Boddhisattvas come again and again to help sentient beings in whatever form suits us beings . There ARE Boddhisattvas working in our midst. When we are so fortunate as to have one with us, and especially when they come in the form of a Spiritual Guide, we should never let the opportunity go of growing Dharma within us and helping them to grow Dharma around us. In this way, do we do more than being good and merely helping others by benefitting them only physically.


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Re: But I'm a good person....
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2011, 04:32:17 PM »
There is the very nature of Samsara which is the way it simply is and there is our karma - just filled with our own ugly habituations from the beginningless time.

When these two come into play, it is not a very pretty picture.

Sometimes it can be a real painful and exhausting struggle. Because we are trying to change all those bad habits into good ones, bearing in mind the bad habits have been around for eons. Of course, being trapped in the very environment that is samsara does not make it at all easy.

Nothing gets easier but if we apply the consistent effort through time and we really keep working at it - that in itself is a training to become stronger and better.

Just like the first time we went to the gym - it was painful, it was hard and boy, did all our muscles ache and we just suffered even more the next day. Why? Because we never used those muscles before. We probably never thought we had those muscles in our bodies in the first place.

But over time, if we do keep up our training and we do keep practising and training, our bodies will start to change. Our muscles will become stronger, even when we keep adding the weights - we find we can still take it.

So, Dharma practice to me, is something like going to the gym and being dedicated to my health and fitness. In this case, the health and fitness of my mind. Yes, there are days when I can grumble and be lazy. But if I allow that to consume me completely, then I would stop going to the gym altogether and my training or physical fitness will be zero.

At the end of the day, we all fall down every once in a while. The point is, do we get back up and go at it and continue or do we just sit there and grumble away?

I think it is clear to see which of the two will bring the results that we want in our lives. The more we want something and realise that it is beneficial for us, the more we will not give up so easily.


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Re: But I'm a good person....
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2011, 10:41:54 PM »
Which is worse: a man who is capable of doing harm and does, OR a man who's capable of doing much good but doesn't.

It's incredibly frustrating to see others profess that they do much good in life, when all that they do (even if at all!) give 2% of their annual salary to an orphanage and be happy as a clam for the rest of the year.

It's even more frustrating when they take their religion to justify their actions e.g. we *name-of-religion* sacrifice animals every year, we see nothing wrong with it, in fact we believe it's for the greater good and for a better purpose.

I just want to scream "MY FOOT", but to do so without sounding patronizing is almost close to impossible.

For those who do not understand karma - how?

Is it actually possible that human beings really do have the capacity to understand what goes around comes around. Regardless of religion?

If we have good motivation and do good without the 8 worldly concerns, do we gain merits if we are not Buddhist?

I understand that merits help our Dharma path so if we are not Buddhist, does merits make us be closer to Buddhism in future? How do merits work for non-Buddhists?

I do think that you do gain merits even if you're not a Buddhist. I think that yes, the merits will bring them closer to Buddhism in the future... and that merits work the same for both Buddhists and non-Buddhists.

However, by not understanding the concept of karma from the very beginning and you end up doing nothing - you'll only bring yourself away from Buddhism even more!


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Re: But I'm a good person....
« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2011, 07:05:31 PM »
Which is worse: a man who is capable of doing harm and does, OR a man who's capable of doing much good but doesn't.

hard to say which is worse.  But what's for sure is the karmic effects will be there for whatever actions done or not done. The effects will return similar to the causes.

Quote from: jessicajameson link=topic=984.msg13800#msg13800 date=1300142514
For those who do not understand karma - how?

pray for them, dedicate merits to them, teach the dharma by example (easier said than done) ... last thing we want to do is to be angry and frustrated at them, look down at them.

Dolce Vita

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Re: But I'm a good person....
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2012, 02:45:02 AM »
It is easy to be good and do the good deeds that we like and enjoy to do - especially if it is within our preferences.

Fo example, if an animal lover saves animals - it is really within the realms of his or her comfort zones. It is something beyond this individual.

Where as, if we ask a non-animal lover to save animals, it might be a lot more challenging to this individual. Because it is not within this person's comfort zone.

So, if we are doing whatever good deeds within our comfort zones, then it is really not much of an effort. It would not amount to much of a MIND TRANSFORMATION now would it?

Mind transformation attacks what we are so accustomed to and what we prefer or like.

It pushes us out of our comfort zones in order for us to achieve a higher state of consciousness.

So, if we doing a lot of good deeds yet we remain within our comfort zones - how would that truly benefit our own spiritual development?

Just wondering out loud.

Sorry, I seem to have added my own set of questions onto WB's?

My thoughts on WB's questions - I think a good person can be of any race, culture, religion and name.

No matter who we are, Karma is still working and moving. No one can escape Karma, even if you say you don't believe in it.

So, if Karma does not discriminate against anyone - then, my guess is that merits would not as well.

The only real difference is whether one's religion would actually teach one the way out of samsara.

Now, that is a different story altogether.

As I am not familiar with any other religion, I cannot comment further.

But just knowing the Lamrim and having the Lamrim - one does have certain benefits, especially if one practises Dharma well and hold their vows very well.

Just my 2 cents worth, if we can even call it that.

This is a questions I have been thinking about, do we do something that we are so good at, we like so much and familiar with to and in our own opinion can contribute more or do we do something we are not competent with that contributes less?

Helena has pointed out that in order to have mind transformation, we have to constantly challenge our comfort zone. By doing something we are familiar with, we are staying in our comfort zone, we are not falling behind and yet we are not progressing. By doing something we are less competent or not familiar completely, we are challenging ourselves and really getting out of our comfort zone. This helps to train our mind and transform our mind for better, thus spiritual progress.

I have concluded that while doing something we are familiar with we should take on task that is completely new to us, something we are not familiar. This way, we are able to contribute and we are able to progress and grow.


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Re: But I'm a good person....
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2012, 09:22:13 AM »
Dear beggar,

Thank you for starting such interesting topic.

Here's my humble opinion:

those people who think they are GOOD PEOPLE are ignorant - they do not know the criteria to be fulfilled to be a GOOD PERSON. e.g. they think they are good citizens because they do not go around robbing or killing people, but they forgot they are committing the sins of killing daily by eating meat !!

that's why we need dharma, with dharma and understanding of buddha's teachings, we will know what it takes to 'be a good person'...
Down with the BAN!!!


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Re: But I'm a good person....
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2012, 09:54:05 AM »
Interesting topic to debate. In fact, I've come across this question before among my so called very samsaric friends who never believe in spirituality or religion.

I'm quite involved in dharma activities on voluntary basis now and was thinking to join full time soon. Out of care and love for my friends, i encouraged them to join me in some activities like volunteering in events or community work during the weekends, and i got rejected 9 out of 10 times. Reasons given are :"oh it's weekend, i need to rest, i need to do some shopping, i need to accompany my family and friends, i'm lazy to go, go there for what? "

All sorts of lame excuses to cover their laziness and selfishness. Well, this is a norm when these people are not aware of the sufferings other people is bearing when they are indulging in their own sweet time doing nothing at home. Out of ignorance and indifference, they choose to shut one eye and not giving their hands to the needed.

I remembered one of my good friend whom i persistently asking her to come join me volunteering in dharma centre, gave me this very ignorant remark:" I wouldn't go dharma centre or seek for Buddha's help until i encounter something bad happen in my life, I've made myself very clear, so please do not ever ask me to go help or join them, even if i'm free, i wouldn't go." How should i help her?


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Re: But I'm a good person....
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2012, 06:46:49 PM »

My question is: how do you get this point across to people? I have met with a lot of apathy from people who remain content in simply doing nothing, citing over and over, "but I'm a good person". How do we get people off the couch and into action?

So how do we kick off the Good Guy Syndrome?
Let's be honest,...we are all not free of the 8 worldly concerns, constantly seeking for pleasure and avoiding displeasure. On that basis, work with that person in terms of understanding what makes the person tick. It does take a lot of listening and observation before we know what to even share in hopes of helping someone change their ways.

It took hell-of-alot for me to change even the being patient and consistent with others is a way of repaying kindness..

I totally agree that we need to be patient. Hard selling an idea to someone who's not open won't help. We have to find a suitable time and it may take years.

When I meet someone who says that "But I'm a good person.....", I may say, "But you can't help a person when he or she is dying. You can't help yourself as well when you're dying. Not only must we be a good person, we must also be equipped with knowledge and wisdom to overcome major obstacles."

diamond girl

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Re: But I'm a good person....
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2012, 07:43:54 PM »
I am a good person and because I am a good person I will do more so that goodness is spread to many. Doing the right things is also good but doing the Right things so that many people benefit from the right goodness is the best kind of Good.

People in general feel/think they are good, and we should work with them from that level and not make them feel that their level of good is not good enough. Tell me honestly, who here likes to be told they are not good enough? Yes, it is ego but we all have ego and it takes time to reach a level of no ego and focus on the bigger picture. So, in getting people to the next level of goodness to contribute more and have a bigger purpose in life, we should be compassionate and not put them down but work with them from where they are and bring them to the next level.


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Re: But I'm a good person....
« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2012, 05:04:12 PM »
Good question... I'm struggling for the answer myself... haha.
I would try any method i can to bring someone into Dharma... but of course I don't push it or it'll scare them away. Most of the time, bringing people to do 'good deeds' works better with doing community service ie visit an old folks home, orphanage etc. then slowly, bring them over to your Dharma centre. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't... If you've done all you can and still they don't want to do more... then all we can do is wait, and hope that the hold of ignorance on them will come to an end soon.

Personally, i have some friends that i've totally stopped inviting to the Dharma centre I go to... i just didn't want them to reject coming to the centre too many times.... so i just stopped calling them.


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Re: But I'm a good person....
« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2012, 01:44:55 PM »
To me this is ignorant thinking. Many people have this idea that if we do not steal or kill anyone we are good people. Yes, we may not harm anyone, but how about eating meat? Indirectly we are creating the cause of killing. Isn’t that worst than harming?

Not doing anything or create harm does not equate to being a good person. If someone is wrong, have wrong thoughts and actions, if we don’t do anything to help that particular person, are we a good person?
My opinion is that a good person must do the right action with the right motivation that will benefit others.


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Re: But I'm a good person....
« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2012, 02:38:07 PM »
In my opinion, a good person is good when others say they are good. This only shows his consistency of goodness. Being good is a long term thing.

Dondrup Shugden

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Re: But I'm a good person....
« Reply #28 on: January 18, 2012, 03:40:36 AM »
This topic reminds me of my first meeting with a Tibetan Lama, when I professed what a good person I am, I even dared to claim that I am spiritual although not religious. 

When challenged how good I am by the Lama, I had the audacity to claim how many people I have benefitted, and so on and on, until I was told that what I had been doing is exactly what an animal would do. Look after family and friends and those who would in turn benefit me or give me some form of comfort.

Now having some little knowledge of Dharma, the whole issue is whether every moment, do our thoughts and actions benefit someone or something which we may never meet or know. 

The extended knowledge of what a good person is make me consciously aware that whether in public or private, I must cultivate all my thoughts and actions be of benefit to all things. AND UNCONDITIONALLY.

This new practice is not easy but at least it stops my arrogance of being a good person on hold.


Tenzin K

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Re: But I'm a good person....
« Reply #29 on: March 03, 2012, 05:39:15 PM »
Pretty much like pgdharma said, ignorant thinking.

By not harming anyone to me is just at state called idle. Nor you are good or bad. This is because you don’t harm people but at the same time you don’t benefit people too. By being idle it doesn’t not bring you to anywhere.

As a start being idle personally to me is ok but as time goes one should be start learn up dharma and put it into practice. Spiritually we should do anything for benefitting others. By doing so we collect merits. By not doing anything beneficial there is not merits and probably just karma.
Being a good person for not benefiting other is not what we look for. Being a good person by doing anything to benefit other is a spiritual good person.