Read it one more time.
“Do Good. Make Money. Be Good.”
So, is there like a stupid catch somewhere? I mean, what’s the catch here?
There is no catch. Honest to God. I’m just telling you about my life’s experience. As I always do. Honestly.
But there is a special way to read it, perhaps. I’ll tell you very quickly what that is.
Do Good. You know what it means. Simple sentence. Do good. It means, be successful in life. Deed-wise. Work-wise. Not money-wise.
(Only because we have a separate section here on money.)
What is success? Some diehard humanist may ask.
Well, I can’t define it for you. You decide what your success is. If your success is teaching and graduating five poor, orphan kids each year, that’s your success. If your success is to travel to Mount Kilimanjaro next year, and trek to Lhasa the following year, that’s your success. And so on.
If your success is to learn oil painting basics, or nature photography, that’s up to you.
And so on.
So, do good.
I’m actually asking all of us here to make lots of money. Like, money you’ve never seen.
I grew up in a poor family in North Calcutta. This is not really the place to talk about what kind of poverty, starvation and death I’ve seen in my own life. And I’ve already written about it in various places, including this blog. You can look it up.
All I’m saying here is that poverty does not give you anything. Poverty, coupled with hard struggle to come out of it, perhaps gives you a strong character and emotional fiber to keep on the fight. But, that’s really about it.
Only poverty, unlike what some poets, philosophers and politicians have preached to us, does not get you anywhere. If anything, it brings you down more and more, like a big boulder chained to your feet. It stops you from going anywhere.
And if you’re in deep water, this boulder chained to your feet actually makes you sink faster.
Don’t live poor. Or, nobody is going to take you seriously. Most people look up to those who made good.
Wait. It’s no riddle. Be good is be good. It means, be good. Which means, be a good man. Or a woman.
Which means, in my dictionary, live an honest, dignified, happy life. And be good to OTHERS. Make a good society.
Any more questions?
Actually, I have one — I says.
What is it?
Is it possible to do all three at the same time, in one life, in today’s world? Isn’t it some kind of an oxymoron?
Can you do well in life, AND make lots of money, AND be honest, happy, and dignified to yourself AND your loved ones?
Great question, I says.
Well, precisely, that is my challenge today — to YOU. And to ME. And to the people I know, love, and care about.
Show me that this life is possible.
All my life, I’m going through this fantastic struggle — and the older I get, being convinced that it is possible to do it.
That is my challenge to you today.
And my life’s experience tells me that once you decide to set foot on this path, get this: your life will be so much happier and meaningful.
By setting foot on this path — borrowing Robert Frost “the road not taken” by most others — you shall reach God.
Because this is the path that God has chosen for the few of us.
Try it. In this life.
I’m with you.
Brooklyn, New York