From Self-Righteousness to Righteousness

A disease that is currently plaguing America is self-righteousness. Righteousness itself is not bad, but there is a distinction between self-righteousness and righteousness. The distinction lies in application. Righteousness can be viewed from a secular or a religious perspective. Simply put, it means that “one does the right thing.” It suggests that a person has a strong moral compass and maintains a high ethical bar. This can be driven by their religious perspective or from a compassionate humanistic perspective. The purpose of the righteous person doing “the right thing” is not to stand out or draw attention to themself. The purpose is to lead the most peaceful and productive life possible with a focus not only on our own well being, but on the well being of others as well. Righteousness becomes self-righteousness when the ego gets involved. The ego then tries to leverage one’s righteousness to gain attention from others in an attempt to achieve some notoriety for itself. The righteous acts no longer remain altruistic and an individual’s actions become motivated by a desire to rise above others. Righteousness then becomes a tool of oppression as it decompensates into a power grab and an attempts to gain and maintain the moral high ground. With this shift, righteousness becomes self-righteousness, and with this shift, true righteousness goes away in favor of the appearance of righteousness. This leads to people not practicing what they are preaching and folks not seeing the incogruences between what one says and what one does. This describes our current political and religious state. Without altruism and truly doing for ourselves and others seeking nothing more than harmony and connection, any perceived righteiousness that we have is little more than vanity.-

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