In all honesty I do spend my hours trying to do good. Agreed, my personal idea of the moral divisions between good and bad might be different to many, but doing good deeds, thinking good thoughts, acting considerately and kindly is indefatigably universal in nature.
I confess my past sins quite openly, my propensity for selfishness, questionable attitude, oft showing a decided lack of concern and empathy, self-interest a personality defining camelid ocular beam.
My change of heart, or should I say realization of reality has many a cause. Quite obviously age tends to mellow the soul, perhaps opening and mind to the needs, hopes and dreams of others. Mortality is also major factor. The ever-closing specter of the grim reaper ensures a sudden interest in any possible credit to counterbalance the volume of negativity so blatantly practiced. I am also inclined to include in the litany an overwhelming feeling of gratitude, for a life quite willfully spent as close the line of unacceptability as it is practicable to tread without outright damnation.
Of all my possible motivations the one that most definitely does not apply is the need for thanks or praise in any form. The need for confirmation of altruism I find wholly inexplicable, in the same way that any other basic tenant if humanity doth not need or require vocal expression. The acceptance of a right path and a wrong path must include defining qualities and responsibilities, unheralded generousness of spirit must surely be the minimum of those attributes.
I am not suggesting that one pearl can resolve all the inherent problems of metrification, indeed it is worthy of note that the most callous of individual will often display at least one quality society defines as admirable. For example a certain sociopathic megalomaniac whose name I hardly need mention is remarkable for his lifelong outspoken adherence to animal rights, to the degree of adopting veganism in a time period when such dietary restrictions were difficult and would certainly have been considered unwise and unhealthy. When you consider that same individual fully favored the wholesale culling of a large percentile of his own species singular qualities of redemption must be viewed with great suspicion.
Even accepting the reality of occasional abomination we should never dismiss the desire to grow, to adapt, to evolve, for transmogrify is that for which we yearn. Better to accept the limitation of probability than to abandon change entirely.
“Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received – only what you have given: a full heart, enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.” Francis of Assisi
Such cumulative saintly behaviors are quite naturally near impossible for the majority of we wholly imperfect vessels. One of the reasons I admire Francis particularly amongst the congregation of the sanctified is because he almost uniquely recognized and indeed inherently felt the weakness of the human striving for any semblance of perfection.
“Start by doing what is necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” Francis of Assisi