932(1) Response to "When 'Bad' Things Happen to 'Good' People"
- Mar 29, 2006
Replies to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheDailyEnlightenment/message/523
(1) Response to "When 'Bad' Things Happen to 'Good' People"
Q : I did, most honestly, the best I could do for my family, to see that one day, we all will lead a beautiful life. After decades, instead of gratitude of my good works, my family worked against me. Today, I'm without money, property, kids, status...
A : My sincere empathy... Have you done your best to reason with them calmly? Getting a good mutual friend to help might be useful? In the worst case scenerio, you might even want to consider engaging a lawyer - not because you don't love your family, but because you love them such that you do not wish to let them be complacent of continually doing wrong, which is negative for their karma. Sometimes, we can restore karmic justice with kindness and wisdom by ourselves too - instead of just passively waiting for karma to bear its fruits. But so be mindful not to stir up any resentment in the process.
Q : After much examination, I feel surely that I'm innocent - Why should I was punshied by others' negligence and negetive attitudes? Where is Dharma, truth and justice? Why should I be victimised?
A : Have you spoken to someone objective, who knows you well in detail, about whether you could have done something to lead to the present situation? This is important because sometimes we have blindspots.
Q : Since I'm Buddhist, I naturally think it is karma. Is it due to my previous lifes bad deeds? How would a God-believer judge this? As a test?
A : One of the reasons why certain experiences seem totally unjustified is because we are unable to be mindful of what we might have done in this life or a previous life to deserve what we are going through. This short-sightedness can make our present experiences seem utterly unfair when it is actually impeccably fair. Our suffering often comes from having expectations, which include the expectation that we will not experience X because we have done Y. But the truth is, we might still experience X because we have done Z too, which can also cause X to be experienced.
It is not very logical to believe that there is a perfect God testing us - because it obviously implies such a God is imperfect - such that he needs to test his imperfectly created humans. It would also be bizarrely unfair that different humans need different tests, some of which are incredibly terrible, while some trivial. That the law of karma exists naturally, ungoverned by any entitiy is thus logically much more believable.
Q : Would it not be madness continuing to do good deeds to the same people who do you wrong, knowing the expected results? Isn't it like bashing one's head against a rock? Also, if do so, they would proudly assume they are correct and that I'm guilty. So am I to accept injustice?
A : Yes, you should continue doing good to your family - but perhaps in another way. Since they are ungrateful, doing good to them conventionally might not make them realise their mistakes. Truly doing good will then probably have to involve pausing the feeding of their complacency, to let them realise what has gone wrong. If they do not wish to listen, you might want to try writing a letter - though direct sincere haert-to-heart communication is always the best. As mentioned, in the worst case scenerio, you might want to consider engaging a lawyer... May you be well and happy always.
- A TDE Reader & Shen Shi'an