Being Good Is Its Own Reward
(Clearwisdom.net) In 1963, a girl named Mary wrote a letter to the Chicago Tribune. She expressed that she did not understand why she had only been praised as a "good child" when she had helped her mother set up cookies on the table. On the other hand, David, her brother, who had not done anything and was always mischievous had received a cookie. Therefore she wanted to ask Mr. Kuester, the writer for the KidNews column in the Chicago Tribune, if God was really fair. Why did she see so many good children like herself being forgotten by God at home and at school?
In the past ten years, he had received thousands of letters from children asking questions about why God did not appear to reward good people and punish bad people. Whenever he came across these letters, he always felt very heavy hearted because he did not know how to respond to these questions.
At the time when he was perplexed as to how he should respond to young Mary's letter, a friend invited him to a wedding. He would be grateful for this occasion for the rest of his life, for it was at this wedding that he found the answer that would make him world famous.
He recalled the wedding as follows. After the priest finished the ritual, the bride and the groom exchanged rings. Maybe it was because they were both immersed in happiness or they were just too excited, anyhow, they made a mistake by putting the rings on each other's right hand. When the priest saw this, he humorously reminded them, "The right hand is already perfect enough. I think you should use them to decorate the left hand." Mr. Kuester said that it was this humorous response made by the priest that inspired him.
Being the right hand is already an extremely wonderful thing for that hand, so there is no need to add additional decorations to it. Equivalently, a moral person is then often ignored because he or she is doing well already. Later, Mr. Kuester arrived at this conclusion, "Letting the right hand become the right hand is the highest reward from God. Similarly, becoming a good person is also the highest reward that God has given to that person."
After reaching this understanding, Mr. Kuester was very excited. He immediately replied to Mary with a letter entitled, "Making you a good child is God's highest reward to you." Shortly after this letter was published in the Chicago Tribune, more than a thousand newspapers in the US and in Europe reprinted it. After that, it was reprinted each year during the Children's Festival.
Not long ago, a Chinese person found this letter printed somewhere. After reading it, he left a message on the Chicago Tribune homepage via the Internet that said, "There is an old saying in China, 'Doing good deeds is met with good rewards while being evil is met with evil returns. Just because the time has not yet come doesn't mean that there is no retribution.' I was once confused as to why an evil person never seemed to receive retribution, but now I finally understand. Making him an evil person is the punishment that God has given him."
[Recommended by a reader and taken from Yangcheng Evening News in China]
November 22, 2002