Battles you must win II

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The wonderful thing about showing kindness, especially to those who do not seemingly deserve it, is that we give out a significant part of us in expectance of no reward. That, by all standards, is priceless and divine. In addition, showing kindness to other people, especially to the wicked ones, speaks volume about the splendor and wealth of our personality. We are rich in personality when we are able to express kindness in ways most people may never be able to express to us. While the living may never appreciate your selfless gestures, the sand of the earth, the winds, and the hills will never forget your name. This is because you have done that which is transcendent in every respect.​

If you haven’t read the first part of this article, ‘Battles you must win (Part one), I recommend you do so. I stated in the previous article that showing kindness and being polite is very important to the human world, regardless of how impolite and unkind other people may be. We are more inclined to being hostile to those who are hostile towards us, and more disposed to despising those who are unkind to us. However, it takes courage and a sense of purpose to trivialize their unloving actions towards us and find it in our hearts to forgive them. This, indeed, is a battle we must fight, and one that a vast majority of people easily ignore. For the sake of humanity, and to live a purposeful life, we must endeavor to win this battle and other battles too. Other battles include: 

The struggle to uphold integrity

Upholding honesty and decency in a corrupt society is no doubt one of the greatest moral challenges faced by all people on a daily basis. Majority of people tend to walk through the path that is easy and comfortable, as opposed to the path that is pure and dangerous. When dishonesty tends to be immensely rewarded (albeit, selfish and unethical), and honesty tends to attract more hostilities and struggles, people easily drift towards dishonest acts as a result of their selfish greed, their economic and social insecurities, and the instinct to survive. 

Paying and collecting bribes to facilitate illegitimate acts, jumping queues dishonestly, getting employment for a job through an unethical process, manipulating examination results through sexual inducement or bribe, injustice as a result of corrupt policing system, embezzlement of public funds, examination malpractice as a result of academic institutions profit-motive, all these are dishonest practices predominant in most human societies. Choosing not to partake in any of these has its struggles. Yet, those struggles are worth putting up with for the greater good.​

The struggle to hold on unconditionally

It is very easy, and in fact very comfortable, to give up on other people, and count them as doomed, unfortunate, or stupid. This is called apathy at best. One way to live a very comfortable life is to shut-off your humanity and be completely self-centered. Yet, one way to live a meaningless and purposeless life is to do so. In the same vein, one way to live a most uncomfortable life is to show concern and be kind to other people. It also remains one way to be absolutely fulfilled in life. When you give up on other people because they are doing rather badly, you withdraw your bright light from their lives. Yet, it is important that we continue to make our bright light shine in other people’s lives. We must never abandon them, but must endeavor to extend our kind gestures to them, not because they deserve it, but because they need it.​

The struggle against conformity

The fact that everyone is engaging in certain activities or partaking in certain acts doesn’t make those acts or activities right. Some acts are self-destructive, while other acts are selfish. Avoid indulging in self-destructive and excessively selfish acts, even if a ton of people see it as perfectly normal. It can be a struggle to resist peer-pressure, but the rewards of your courage and principle will be enjoyed in later years. Like the common saying, remember that a man is sitting under a shade today because he planted a tree a long time ago. Therefore, avoid self-destructive acts and you will enjoy later years.​

The struggle to be modest

We ought to cultivate the habit of being completely comfortable with our modest possessions, irrespective of the fact that other people may have far more than us. When we develop this habit, we are able to help the poor and needy, without giving in to the overwhelming power of avarice and greed. This can be quite a struggle, since most people have the proclivity to be greedy and desirous. We must therefore train ourselves to overcome the temptation to yield to the illusory beckoning of ‘More is better’, and simply focus on sharing these excesses with those who have so little.