don’t delay an act of goodness

don’t delay an act of goodness
Photo by Sid Saxena / Unsplash

One important lesson we can all learn in our spiritual journey is this: If you want to do something good, do it immediately, but if you want to do something bad, brush it aside. In other words, make virtuous deeds your main priority. Our mind has the tendency to be devious time and again; don’t let it play tricks on you.

Once many years ago in India, a trader was traveling to Kashi by boat. On the way, his boat started sinking. He saw a fisherman on another boat nearby and asked him to rescue him. He told the fisherman that otherwise he would drown and lose his life. The trader then promised to give the fisherman his entire property if he saved him. The fisherman agreed and helped the trader reach the shore safely. However, the trader gained his composure and started regretting his promise. He told the fisherman that he could only give him half of his property because his wife would not agree to his decision. He had no choice but to share the other half with his wife and family, as they also needed the property.

The fisherman remained silent and kept rowing. The trader then realized that it was the fisherman's duty to help people and he had not done anything extraordinary. He was just doing his job to ferry people across, plus protecting others is only humane. If the fisherman had not saved him, he would have committed a sin. By convincing the fisherman to rescue him, he had actually stopped him from committing a sin. So he reduced his offer to a quarter of his property. The fisherman remained quiet. When they reached the shore, the trader offered the fisherman a hundred rupee note, but the fisherman declined, saying he didn't need his money. Shocked, the trader insisted, suggesting the fisherman buy tea and biscuits for his children.

Such is the game of the mind. Whenever you feel inspired to do some good work, it is best to do it right away. Or else you’ll keep postponing it and never do it.


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