For a long time I have had a nagging fear in me that wanting a peaceful, secure, good life makes me selfish, or a bad person.
There are people all over the world who live on less than a dollar a day, are actively suffering, starving, dying of horrible disease. Orphans who live and die with nothing. People who don’t even have clean drinking water, or a place to call home. How can I want a good life when so many people don’t have a fraction of what I have now?
There will always be wealth inequality. There will always be the haves and the have-nots. There will always be people who have a good life, and people who never know anything other than pain. But does it make us bad people to wish for a peaceful life? A nice life?
Some people are called to higher things. Some people are called to go out into the world and sacrifice all that they have so that they may bring a better life to those with nothing. People who go aid not just the less fortunate, but Third World countries, places that have less money than you have in your bank account. But what is there to say about the people who bring peace to those around them?
Yes, good people go elsewhere and do good works, but if all of the good people leave for other places, we would only be left with the foul, or easily corrupted. We need people to stay here, to do good works around us on a small scale. No, it is not the same as bringing life saving water or medicine to Third World countries, but it is still doing good works, and it is still needed.
Being kind to some stranger has impacts that we cannot foresee. Lead by example for those around us. Do nice things. Donate to good charities. Volunteer once in a while. Hold the door for someone. Walk out of your way to help. Give someone a genuine smile and a Hello. Change a life. It only takes a little bit.
Wanting a good life, a secure and peaceful life, does not make us selfish. But living a life devoid of helping others does. It is okay to reach for better things, but don’t step on others to get there. Sometimes, give someone a step up to someone else means that they can give you a hand to hold on to.
Reach for peace, and share it with those around you.