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  • Writer's pictureVidya

Doing good things when nobody is watching: what does it mean?

I read this phrase about doing good things when nobody is watching somewhere in Buddhist texts a while ago. I like it a lot. My parents, thank God, raised me and taught me to do only good things. I do strongly believe that each of us on this Earth was born to make this world better, to bring goodness into this world. I strongly believe, as C.S. Lewis has said, that integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching. Many spiritual texts, including the New Testament, teaches us to forgive our enemies, to turn the other cheek if someone hits you. Why???

Look at our world. Humans are constantly fighting with one another, as are countries, neighbors, colleagues, etc. WHY???

When we do something good, we want everybody to know about it, appreciate it, acknowledge it, or pay for it. In other words, we want to be rewarded for our good deeds. But, when nobody is looking, we might do something bad to a friend or colleague, or a neighbor. We might do this to pay them back, or just because we are jealous, envious or competitive. Nobody sees it. Really???

What if somebody is watching? What if the Universe is watching? What if something within us is diminished when we do something bad intentionally? In the East, there is a notion of Karma. When we do something good, it will return to us; when we do something bad it will also return to us at some unexpected time and in some form.

Always do good! Do not expect rewards! The Universe is watching!!!

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