There is a saying: ‘If you want to succeed in life, do not be too good.’ Alexander, Napoleon, Caesar, Charles V, Queen Elizabeth I and Isabella of Spain, were people of great worldly eminence, and yet can we regard them as being unequivocally good? Were they not opportunists who believed in expediency and used friendship as a means to their ends? Let us ask, what did glory, success and power give them? Anxiety, misery, loneliness, heaviness of the heart, illhealth, and a perpetual danger of assassination. They had few friends and their hearts were burdened with sorrow. At what cost did they acquire glory? Will any reasonable person like to exchange their position in a peaceful home, an innocent heart, love of art and poetry, or pursuit of learning and virtue, with the glory of Napoleon, the majesty of Charles V, or the wealth of Shahjahan?
What is goodness? Right living, a natural way of life, selfconquest, benevolence, pursuit of Truth, cultivation of art and science, exercise of mercy, friendliness and devotion to Truth. This is goodness and much more. It is this kind of life which gives happiness and contentment, and there is absolutely no other way. To know this fact is to be wise.
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