Being a good person is not enough

"I am a good person"


But in this world, that's not enough. In this world, you have to be attractive, intelligent and charming. You have to be associated with the right people. You have to be from the right side of town. You have to have the right skin color. You have to be strong not sensitive. You have to be smooth, witty and talented. In this world, no-one can be lacking of those qualities, or strange, or damaged, or awkward, or, they will either not acknowledge you, kick you to the side, or take advantage of you. It is not fun to have no privilege and no power.


I have been an underdog for many years of my life. I don't just sympathize with them, I identify with them. That instinct is powerful in our nature. That is the reason most people will cheer for the underdog team in any sporting event. We can all identify with them. Movies and music are made to enforce this instinct to protect the underdog.


However, this might be a trap. An Indian friend of mine told me something interesting. He said that India has a very strong caste system and yet most Bollywood movies and TV shows are cheering for the poor people and mocking the powerful ones. Yet, the people who make those movies are actually very powerful. Why would they do that? He explained it to me this way; in places where a few powerful people control a large population of disadvantaged people, they have to use stories to convince the masses to tolerate injustice by believing that being oppressed is a virtue. They will then rather stay virtuous then turning against the establishment and claiming power themselves. Also, they will not spend any time learning the skills necessary to help them to become more powerful and gain privilege. They prefer to be good and oppressed rather than powerful and bad.


The twisted thing is even the rich and powerful people will deny their privilege. Because power is associated with evil. Their denial and lack of awareness offends people even more. They have to take responsibility to own up to that Shadow- the negative aspects of the human experience, the traits you perceive as 'evil,' that you reject from your own sense of self.


Facing and embracing our Shadow can free us from this trap. I am a person with privilege. I am a person with power. Yes, everyday I still feel guilt because of that strong instinct of not wanting to be a bad person. Maybe I am a bad person now, but I would like to use that transformation to lead you out of your suffering.


The Shadow will scare you by saying, "you will lose your compassion once you have achieved power." Again, books, movies and songs have been written over and over again with that threat. Maybe it is true to some extent, but labelling oppression as a virtue will only lead to more suffering and oppression.


I am just a person. I am an ordinary man. I need power because I know I am not superior in any sense. We need power to negotiate. We need power so our children do not have to be oppressed.


I cannot deny it anymore. I cannot rationalize it anymore. I cannot pretend anymore. I am NOT a good person. Understanding that about me is my first step of confronting my sense of superiority and my judgment of others. I am NOT a good person is not a statement of judging oneself either. I am learning to love me with my Shadow and not attempting to suppress it anymore.


Please join me and assist me in accepting ourselves for not being good people. On this journey, we will learn to truly love each other. Unconditional love is unnatural. The way to achieve it is to discover and accept our Shadow and then we can start accepting others.



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