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Karma: people seem to get rewarded for bad behaviour, so is there any point in being a good person?

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Question - (6 January 2013) 21 Answers - (Newest, 8 January 2013)
A female age 26-29, anonymous writes:

Hi,

I was wondering if anyone saw anything bad happen to bad people?

I see a guy who cheated in the IQ test to get a job become the manager of a company. I see a woman who cheated on her husband living happily with her husband and kid. I see disloyal people having friends a dime a dozen. I see people who treat other people as objects blessed more and more.

Is there any point in resisting temptations, trying to live an honest life and being good?

I am not perfect in any way but I am seeing injustice increase everywhere.

Sorry for the rant. Hoping for some good advice to cope. Thanks in advance.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 January 2013):

Hi Serpico,

I am sorry you had an abusive father. I agree self pity is really bad. I do have lots of it. I came here for help. I got it and I have changed myself already. I had a very productive day.

I don't think getting all the questions in an IQ test beforehand, working it out and then getting through is smarter or hardworking.

You jumping in to boo people who are just human and going through issues is not helpful. Different people. Different opinions. I get that.:)

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A male reader, Serpico United States +, writes (8 January 2013):

Sorry, but I see this post as a pity party. Poor me, Im so good and nothing good ever happens to me. Wah.

Ok - a few things -

1) There is no such thing as luck - you make your own luck in this life. Amazing how people who are smarter and work harder always seem to be "luckier" than everyone else.

2) If you are a good person, you will be rewarded for it. Read the beginning of Plato's Republic see the story about the invisibility ring. In this life, the only person you have anything to prove to is yourself, and you cannot escape your own conscience.

I was teased as a kid, and had an physically abusive father. Boo hoo. I used those experiences to make me better and appreciate the good things I have.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (7 January 2013):

To the male Anonymous,

Brother,You don't know how much your answer has gladdened my heart.

I do get angry when I think of the injustice of it all but I was not able to ask for curses on someone.What do you know?The sunday school teachers didn't do a bad job.:D:D

Person12345 I was born with a silver spoon.I had my own chauffeur and I even had a maid for just carrying my school bag.I didn't even have to work but I did.

So no jealousy or envy.It was a missing conscience that got me started on this rant.It won't even bother me anymore.I am going to be really happy with my life.

I am feeling a lot better now.I don't feel even a little angry anymore.Thanks to everyone who pitched in for a complete stranger.I am really thankful.

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A female reader, person12345 United States + , writes (7 January 2013):

person12345 agony auntOf course they frequently get away with those things, but it's often that farther down the line it bites them in the ass. I've seen plenty of slimy backstabbers getting all the best projects and otherwise excelling thanks to stomping down everyone else. And then I've seen those same people hit a wall where they just can't get further because no one will help them anymore. You can't get to the top on your own.

You can make yourself miserable thinking about all the great things other people have that you don't. I could sit here all day feeling angry that some celebrities are multimillionaires many times over just because they happened to be born with a "perfect" face and body. I can be angry that someone won the lottery and I didn't. I can be upset that Kim Kardashian is rich and famous and never does any actual work.

There's always going to be something someone else has that you don't, but you can't do anything about it and you'll be a happier person once you can get past it and stop trying to compare yourself. You have to learn to think about what makes YOU happy and stop worrying about what everyone else is doing.

As an exercise you should make a list of all the things going right in your life. Sometimes I think about all the things I dislike and try to turn them into pros.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (7 January 2013):

Poster here.

Female Anonymous1 I envy your strength. Shit happens. Life is unfair. But it shouldn't be. From all the answers,that seems to be happening.

Female Anonymous2 I am sorry its your sister. In my case everyone believed the guy who cheated in the IQ test. He hated all of my then friends. I have stood up for them so many times with him. When push came to pull,they believed him completely. They treat him well. He thought a guy didn't deserve to be a team lead. The same team lead guy I stood up for treated me,like shit in the end. Go figure.

Fatherly Advice. you are welcome. All the advice has really helped.

Last female Anon, I will not let myself become bitter or cynical by people who are so not worth it. I have already mourned. I am ready to move on. I suggest you try to do the same.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (7 January 2013):

Dear OP,

please do not get cynical! People are often very pleasantly surprised when they encounter honesty! Many people just don't expect it any more since dishonesty is so prevalent. A person with your values is a rare and beautiful thing! Please don't change that! Integrity is priceless, as is a clean conscience. Trust me, you will encounter people who appreciate it and love you for it. Being able to trust someone is a huge blessing.

Also, like another poster said, you don't really know that people who deal falsely are happy. Dishonest or otherwise bad people can be very good at putting on a front of well-being and happiness; it's part of their falsehood. Try not to envy them, though that is difficult sometimes. These people are walking on thin ice.

Psalm 73 from the bible asks the exact same question. Here is an excerpt, starting at verse 3:

3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.

5 They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills.

Please read the whole thing; the plot changes as you read on! It's not long and can be found here:

http://beta.biblestudytools.com/psalms/73.html

Elsewhere the scriptures say "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

And as another poster also said, we should do good simply because it is right. That is character. We know in our hearts that we should do the "right thing" simply because it is right even though the reward my not be apparent at the time.

You have a healthy, active conscience for a reason. And that is because eternity is written on our hearts. Death is not the end and though injustice can be seen everywhere in the present time, that won't always be the case. And btw, if you look for it, you will see that many people also do good and think like you do too. It's often a matter of perception. We can easily get discouraged down with the present evil and injustice. But it's people like you who make the world a better place!

Hope this helps!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (7 January 2013):

I agree. All around me I see bad behavior being rewarded, people getting away with being unethical and selfish and getting what they want at the expense of others. Ive become quite cynical and bitter about a lot of things.

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A male reader, Fatherly Advice United States + , writes (7 January 2013):

Fatherly Advice agony auntOriginal poster,

Thanks for writing back. And thanks for an interesting question. There has been a lot of solid good advice here. I see that you are on the right track.

FA

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (6 January 2013):

I wonder about this a lot myself. I've always tried to be a good person. Sure, I've made mistakes, but I always did my best to correct them. But my older sister has always had all the friends. She treats people horribly. Yet they still all flock to her like she's the greatest thing ever, including my cousins. They don't talk to me due to things she made up about me to them. I'll never understand why no one sees through her, and worships her so much.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (6 January 2013):

I'm going to take a COMPLETELY different look on this: How do you know these people are behaving badly are living happily?? You don't. You say bad people get rewarded, but you don't know and will never know the whole story of every aspect of their lives.

They could be going through hell. These 'rewards' could be curses in disguise. You have absolutely no idea what goes on behind closed doors.

Between the lines all the questions and answers actually say: We are a society of moaners, full of self-righteousness, who believe we should get rewarded for being good. Well we shouldn't, we should be good because it's the right thing to do, not because we might get praise or reap benefits.

Crap happens to everyone, good or bad: It has nothing to do with karma, it's life.

No one said life was fair, and for good reason: Life isn't and shouldn't be a game you can win or lose. and maybe the bad stuff is only here so we can appreciate the good stuff.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (6 January 2013):

I am the poster.

Female Anonymous:I am hoping when Lord asks them,it will be much different than if I had complained.

Person 12345:There are people who get away with lots of things.Sigh.

Code Warrior:I have already removed some people from my life.Its time to make lots more positive changes and move forward.

Sarcy24:Bang on .Rightly said.

Thanks so much for the answers everyone.I appreciate everyone who were kind to take time out to answer my question.I hope my question helps another poor soul who is wondering the same thing.

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A female reader, sarcy24 United Kingdom +, writes (6 January 2013):

sarcy24 agony auntI have watched people behave well and people behave badly and seen it all unfold. I am a great believer in karma but have found it sometimes takes a long time to come round.

I know a lot of succesful people and they are all really bad nasty people with absolutely no empathy for others. Years have gone by with them behaing terribly and still they have not been paid back and I doubt it will ever happen.

I try to behave properly and kindly and treat others as I would want to be treated myself. My husband who feels he used to behave badly when he was young does a good deed every day of his life and expects nothing back.

I truthfully think that if you are not very nice and behave badly you are likely to be more successful financially in life because I see it all the time but you will not be loved or happy which only comes to those who give with no thought of receiving.

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A male reader, Code Warrior United States +, writes (6 January 2013):

Code Warrior agony auntAs CindyCares said, doing good is its own reward. That being said, tolerating bad is an act of foolishness. You know the old adage, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. Living a life of virtue does not mean tolerating everyone you come across.

Have people in your life whose good qualities outweigh their bad qualities and whose bad qualities are things you can live with. Reject people whose bad qualities are things you cannot live with. That way, you are not asking people to change and you are surrounding yourself with people who are basically good according to your standards.

Also, don't be so quick to assume that the people you have listed as examples are happy. Outward appearances reveal little about a person's private life. If you see all these things in the people you have listed, it's a good bet that others see the same things and think the same about them as you do. Odds are their private lives are much different than their public images.

To answer your question: Is there any point in resisting temptations, trying to live an honest life and being good?

Yes there is. Being bad is stressful because you always have to lie and you have to make sure that your lies are consistent or else people will find discrepancies when they compare notes. Tell enough lies and you weave a web that gets more and more complicated to maintain as the connections between lies begin to untangle. This leads to further bad acts and maybe even an escalation of the kinds of bad acts depending on how desperate a person becomes to keep the truth hidden. When you are honest and good, there is no need for this and you have nothing that can come back to damage you later.

Right now, you are just feeling envious because the people that are bad are getting away with it. They won't get away with it for long. Eventually it will catch up with them. Karma is a bitch and they will eventually meet her.

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A female reader, person12345 United States + , writes (6 January 2013):

person12345 agony auntMost of the VERY successful people I know got where they are by being honest, empathetic, and cooperative. Sometimes it seems like bad behavior gets rewarded, but in the long run it will usually bite them in the ass. At some point success is based a lot on what others think of you. If they hate you and think you are a horrible human being, that's the end of your successes.

Even if you can get little successes by backstabbing and lying, it can only get you so far. Once you reach a certain level you have to actually be good at what you do, cooperate and be liked, and be an honest person. People have this idea that you get to the top be stomping down everyone else and being a slime ball, and in most cases it's just not true. I know a lot of people at the top, they got there by being really hard workers who were good at collaborating with others. Not through lying or cheating. You get there by being the best at what you do, not by making everyone else worse.

Good things can happen. For my age most people consider me successful and I've never stabbed anyone in the back or cheated anyone. Same with my boyfriend. One time a supervisor tried to be backstabbing and get me in trouble for her mistake and it backfired. I wound up being put in charge of her for the remainder of the project.

You can always find examples of bad people doing bad things, but I really don't think that's the norm for successful people.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (6 January 2013):

Hi i personally dont belive in karma itself but i do believe that people who have done bad things get what they deserve from other people because in every day life. There are good people who are strong enough to stand up when they see injustice. And when someone had wronged another person to then get what they deserve from that person or from a person connected to that person so justice does happen but i believe that the justice that we do see only comes from other human beings.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (6 January 2013):

Hi Male Anon,

I am really sorry to hear your story. Please read the advice from CindyCares.It is really good and exactly what I am going to follow. It will help you as well.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (6 January 2013):

Thanks for sharing hurttohell.Maybe the world is not a good place for good people

Thanks cindycares for the good advice.

To Fatherly Advice:I feel bad about the fact that I want them to learn their lesson.But trust me,I badly wanted to snitch but I didn't.So in a way a lifetime of good upbringing won over vengeance.I will try to concentrate on myself.There is a lovely dialogue which I heard in a TV show."I don't want revenge.I want redemption". That is exactly what I feel.Wanting them to feel guilt and dirty revenge fantasies are two different things.

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A male reader, Fatherly Advice United States + , writes (6 January 2013):

Fatherly Advice agony auntThose are some sad stories. I want to reassure you that the way you are living is a more sure path to happiness. Part of the problem is that you are focused on vengeance. you want to see bad things happen to people. That is quite an ugly emotion to be carrying around. For example Hurt to hell, has obviously already forgiven her Boyfriend for his past. That is the reason that she can live happily with him. Sure there are some uncomfortable memories still there they serve to warn her should he start to slip back in to bad habits.

Instead of focusing on what other people are doing you need to focus on yourself. Happiness (your personal contentment with your life) comes from living your life the way you believe is right. You both believe in being honest and faithful. That keep you out of embarrassing situations that you would have to apologize for and work hard to make right.

Keep living with your beliefs. Don't fill your minds with dirty revenge fantasies. Be positive and look for the best as much as you can.

FA

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (6 January 2013):

I'm almost 40 and so far, I have never been rewarded for being honest. I fact, sometimes I've been punished for being good.

The people who I knew as liars and cheaters are living more happily than me.

Sometimes people tell me I have to stop being honest. And I'm starting to think that they have a point. My family has suffered enough.

So, to answer your question, I guess there is no point in being honest in this world. Not anymore. Sorry.

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (6 January 2013):

CindyCares agony aunt I've seen tons of bad things happening to bad people. AND to good people as well. Because bad things ( illness, accidents, death, abrupt and undesired endings , material losses ) are simply part and parcel of our human experience. Same as the good things. Like the two faces of the same sheet of paper.

The point in resisting temptations, trying to live a honest life and being goos is : because you WANT to. Because you are the kind of person who believes in resisting temptations, being honest etc. , and by doing so you are living in harmony with your values and essence.

Living your life according to what you believ in is already a bonus and a privilege, also if there's nobody around to give out brownie points for good conduct.

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A female reader, Hurttohell United States +, writes (6 January 2013):

I feel the SAME way.

I've always been a good person. The two people I was closest to died. I've always worked really hard. I got abused by my ex husband. I was teased my whole childhood. I always tell the truth, it makes people think im a liar!

My bf saw tons of hookers unprotected, was an alchoholic and got a dui and did heavy drugs. He messes up in my eyes constantly. One night stands.

Now he has me who cooks his meals, gives him sex whenever he wants it, will drop anything for him. He has an amazing high paying job where he is respected after i supported him financially for a year. I don't get it.

I see people who lie & cheat get rewarded ALL the time. Its so sickening.

My grandma was the best person & everyone used her and abused her. She died young probably stress and depression contributed. My dad died before he was 40. He was a good person too.

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