Look within. Within is the fountain of good, and it will ever bubble up, if thou wilt ever dig. – Marcus Aurelius
What does that mean?
This quote is saying there is good within us. Each of us. Every one of us. This good could bubble up like a fountain, if only we could find it. It does imply that not everyone has their good bubbling up like a fountain. For some, it seems the well has gone dry.
However, they’ve thought of that as well. If we just dig, and keep digging, not only will we find our wellspring of goodness, but it will bubble up forever. If we are willing to keep digging until we find it. And figure out how to dig in the right places.
But that’s the problem for some, isn’t it? It takes effort to be good. Sometimes it seems much easier to be other than good, but only up front, right? Over the long run, good works out so much better, that it’s not even close. So all we have to do is keep digging, looking for the fountain of good.
Why is being, and doing, good important?
It becomes self-evident if we examine the opposite, doesn’t it? What if everyone was significantly less than good? What could you do in your life, if you couldn’t trust the grocer to give you good food for your money? What if you couldn’t trust your neighbor not to rob your house as soon as you leave for work?
What if you couldn’t trust anyone around you to do anything but what got them what they wanted? Would you like to live that way, or do you like it when most people are good, and behave in a good manner? Do you like having trustworthy neighbors? Do you like being able to trust your grocer and the food you get?
Being good, and doing good things. These are the glue which holds society together. There will always be people who will try to take advantage of that goodness. And different people will define good in slightly different manners, as will different cultures and peoples. But the basis of society is that goodness, that trust. Without it, we are animals in clothes.
Where can I apply this in my life?
I imagine you could use it any time and anywhere you feel an urge to do something less than good. This is the value judgement good, as in the opposite of bad, rather than somewhat less than excellent. As was mentioned before, there will be differences in the definition of good based on societal values and cultural differences.
Take a moment and consider how often you are tempted to do things which are less than good. Where and when are you most often tempted? Is there a pattern to where and when these things happen? If it’s usually when you’re around a certain group of people, they might be filling your fountain with dirt.
Have you considered how you might protect your fountain of good? It might not be as valuable as the Fountain of Youth, but everyone has a fountain of good, if they are willing to keep digging until they find it. And everyone must be willing to tend to that fountain, to make sure no one sabotages it.
That brings us to the question of when and where to dig. The when would be any time you
feel that your goodness is waning, or that you are considering doing something you know to be less than good. Where to dig, of course, is inside yourself. Like everything else worth having, the goodness is already inside of you.
Obviously, you don’t dig with a shovel, but with your mind. You have to ask questions and answer them honestly. Why do you think it is OK to do this thing which you know to be less than good? Keep digging to find the root of the weed, otherwise it will simply return, even if you try to pull it out.
For me, most of the time the reason boils down to “I am pretty sure I won’t get caught.” That’s a pretty lame excuse, isn’t it? You could ‘justify’ almost any bad behavior with that, couldn’t you? So, with the root identified, we have to dig a little deeper.
How do you counter this reason (or your reason)? That’s where you really have to dig to find your fountain of goodness. For me, it was as simple as reminding myself that I would know, even if no one else did. That should be a sufficient deterrent to less than good behavior.
You may have to break a habit or two, but that is just protecting your fountain from the stuff you, or others, might throw in it, in an attempt to clog it. Keep the good flowing freely, and keep digging anytime and any place you find the fountain not flowing as you would like it to.
It is our life. It is our fountain. Do we want clean, fresh, good flowing from it, or slimy, brackish, ungood in it. It is our choice. I suggest you clean and dig, until you are happy with what is in your fountain.
From: Twitter, @philo_quotes
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/marcusaure132937.html
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