This is not up for debate. It’s not. It’s a lesson to be learned by every single human being ever. It is beyond true. It’s so true, that it probably isn’t proven by the exception. I doubt there can be an exception because even if your life is perfect from start to finish, it has a finish.
I knew a guy once who was obsessed with the idea that people who were undeserving often got rewarded. Actually, it wasn’t a tit-for-tat sort of thing so much as it was random reward unattached to random behavior, good or otherwise.
It fairly drives some folks crazy. It sure did him. People who “do everything right” get hugely annoyed when people who don’t “do everything right” seem to be happy. They want them to suffer. It’s like fundigelicals reminding us liberals that “if you don’t repent, you’ll go to hell”. They always smile when they say that, because they are very sure we won’t and so they can be happy knowing “we’ll get ours” come judgment day. They presume of course a judgment day.
It’s why the workers in the vineyard got so pissed when the boss paid the workers who only worked an hour the same as those that had worked a full day. “Unfair!!!” The boss said, “hey, what’s that got to do with you? You got what YOU bargained for didn’t ya?”
Some folks just can’t handle that. Which leads me to believe that they find “doing everything right” a major pain, and they don’t do it because it’s the right thing to do, but because they want the reward. So getting a reward for not doing everything right, might just mean that they won’t get a reward for doing everything right. Kind of puts a monkey wrench in the whole salvation thing don’t it?
It also makes God sort of insane.
Perhaps God sees things in a way that humans don’t. At least for all the literalists out there, the Bible suggests that God does see not as humans but as God. So perhaps, just perhaps, our assumptions of what is the “right thing to do” aren’t so clear. At least to the point that it might be better if we keep our damn mouths shut when we “disapprove” of what others are doing.
Not talking here folks about murder and abuse and other dictatorial behaviors, but more ambiguous things like gay marriage, and women’s health rights, and stuff like that. Unless you are a hard-nosed self-styled pope (meaning your interpretation of scripture is infallible until God tells you different), most of us concede that there’s a lot of grey in some social policy areas. If that is true, then we best not tell others how to behave regarding them I suspect.
In any case, I personally believe that everyone is “saved”, which makes it all unnecessary to bewail whether anyone is getting their just desserts or not, or being failed by their supreme deity in any way. Unlike the fundigelicals, I do not have to resort to “God’s ways are mysterious” and “God had some reason for inflicting me with this misery that I’ll understand some day.” If I do a good thing it’s because I want to, not because I NEED to.
It’s enough that “shit happens”.
For me at least.
I’m a decent enough person. Far from the best kind of person I can conceive of. I have plenty of people I know who are much better than I am. They are kinder for sure.
Case in point. I was getting blood work done a few weeks ago as part of a general updating of my health records. After slapping my inner arms and squeezing my upper arms to death trying to “pop up a vein”, the blood sucker said this: “Do they usually taking blood from your hand instead of your arm?”
I replied, “yeah, the one’s who can’t do the arm, do the hand”.
Now the Contrarian said that my mistake was in being snarky/sarcastic BEFORE I had properly secured the end of relationship with said person. After all, she still wielded the mighty needle when I dissed her. There is some truth to that observation.
So you see, I am a sarcastic, snarky, bitch type person when I’m (a) in a hurry (b) tired or (c) just damn well feel like it.
This served me quite well when I was a defense attorney. I could utter questions at cop or citizen with such jaw-dropping “and your mama too” sarcasm that I would often see a judge turn away suddenly to hide his snicker before the jury, while a prosecutor jumped out of his/her shorts to bellow “OBJECTION, ARGUMENTATIVE”. I of course would smile softly and whisper, “withdrawn”, as the witness shot daggers of ineffectual rage which of course all missed their target, for their mouths were forever silenced by the loudly following “NO FURTHER QUESTIONS!”
It probably serves me less well now. But it is who I am in the last analysis, and I always feel fairly fake and pretentious when I put on that “oh, no take all the time in the world packing my groceries. I can surely see that changing items in and out until one achieves the perfect fit, is the way it should be done” look on my face.
But back to the topic at hand. Reward.
Yes, I’m not a deserving person, I have a trail of bleeding bodies who all feel “abused” by my acidic tongue, to prove it, one that trails back at least to junior high.
But guess what? My life has turned out fairly wonderfully from my point of view. And nobody else’s point of view matters. And that really galls the hell out of a few people I know. And ya know, that sort of makes me feel even happier.
As they say, a life lived well is the best revenge.