Category Archives: Society

I don’t want to be “Good”

I was talking to my dad the other day when the conversation turned philosophical. Philosophy is one of the few subjects that my dad and I usually skirt around, since we both have the uncanny ability to anticipate the other’s argument. This time around it started with my dad uttering his oft quoted statement  “This is India” which usually meant, there was no rational reason for it so just drop it, or, I am as frustrated as you are so why don’t we just drop this topic.

It all started with us discussing on how best to rescue people in abusive situation (both physical and sexual)  through our organisation in India. We were a little frustrated on how society and immediate family members were unsympathetic or turned a blind eye to such abuse. This time when my why was answered with This is India, I refused to back down and the conversation took a different tangent on what it meant to be “good” and the uses thereof. The discussion soon turned into a long winded speech by yours truly to a choir of one. And it centered on why I didn’t want to be called good by people.

I grew up being a Mr. goody two-shoes and strived to be thought of as good by people. By and large most of my relatives and friends thought of me as a good person (Unfortunately I only have anecdotal evidence for this). And with every word of praise my ego and self righteousness grew exponentially. This exploded self righteousness caused me to assume that I was an agent for change in the world. I did all the good stuff that good people do. I gave away money. supported orphans and I even started my own NGO . I was all set to be called a great person (Atleast by a few people) when suddenly God systematically broke down my ballooned self image.

To explain this I would have to use a story from the Bible. This is recounted in the 10th chapter of the book of Mark from verses 17 to 22. It speaks of a rich young man who comes to Jesus and calls Him good to which Jesus responds that no one is good except God (Strike one against me). The conversation goes on further where he asks Jesus what he must do to get to heaven. Jesus again responds by saying that he has to follow the laws and the ten commandments which the young man been following all his life. Then Jesus finally told him to go sell all his possessions and give it to the poor (Strike two) and then come take up his cross (Strike three and I’m out) follow Him(Jesus).

This passage is followed by one of the oft discussed verses about rich men/women and heaven. When my elevated sense of self worth started crumbling within me, I felt like that young man (I am not rich …. yet) I had done what everybody had expected of being a good guy but nothing more. I thaought this would influence people for good but all I got was empty praise. That’s when this story hit it’s mark on my heart. God wasn’t expecting me to dabble in goodness, He wanted me to dive in head first. And this was not the first time God had nudged me in that direction

17 years ago when I was lying on a hospital bed having been miraculously healed from stage 4 cancer, I told Him that I would live like a dead man walking (Galatians 2:20). But worldly pleasures are hard to resist when you loose sight of the goal. So God did something about it, He sent Steffi my fire-breathing, hard-nosed and uncompromising better half (If you ask her, she will tell you that she is a full and not a half) who was like a Polished arrow (Isaiah 49:2) in His bow. And being God’s own polished arrow she was a great instrument in bursting my oversized sense of “goodness”. She was the perfect weapon in His hand and the one to give that final nudge.

I am no longer content in being good or being called good. I am no longer worried about receiving the empty praises and ovations. I am ready with a different answer than the young man in the Bible, pumped up and a carrying a cross ready to go where He wants me and do what He needs me to. I have counted the cost and I am ready for battle with God’s own Polished arrow by my side.

That conversation with my dad ended with the both of us in agreement that good was not just good enough. We are done with just going through the motions of providing food, clothing and education. We want to do something more, we want to start (want to emphasis start)  with tackling child abuse in India. We want to tear down the mentality that allows people to turn a blind eye to what is happening in their own family or locality. Ultimately we want to let His light shine through and want to be able to look into the eyes of every man, woman and child and tell them “…behold, now is the(your) day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2)

P.S : The ending is not a request for donations 🙂

P.S.S : It is no coincidence that my wife’s photography business is called Polished Arrow 🙂

P.S.S.S : Pardon the semantic and syntactical errors. I am more than a little rusty.


Whatcha gonna do about it?

You crib, you moan, you even spam your facebook friends
But when the dust settles down and the blood cools
Whatcha gonna do about it?

You protest, you strike, you even stop eating for a while
But when everyone goes home and the crowd thins out
Whatcha gonna do about it?

You write, you speak, you even get down on your knees
But when the stillness is endless and there seems to be no answer
Whatcha gonna do about it?

You bicker, you argue, you even raise some money for it
But when the event is over and the seasons change
Whatcha gonna do about it?

You harass, you cry, you are even ready to destroy
But when sanity returns and love is proclaimed
Whatcha gonna do about it?

You think, you ponder, you even contemplate asunder
But when the bills come due and life goes on
Whatcha gonna do about it?