”With integrity, you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide. With integrity, you will do the right thing so you will have no guilt.”
You did something bad. And now you feel terrible. But the feeling won’t go away. It gnaws at you. Even worse, it makes you feel like you’re a bad person.
Nobody tells us how to deal with this, we all feel a wide range of emotions from time to time, but some feelings just don’t deserve to stick around — guilt being one of them. Unless you’ve done something terrible, you shouldn’t feel bad for your actions, and there are certain things you should never feel guilty doing, especially when they don’t hurt anyone. It’s easy to get caught up in pleasing others, but sometimes there are things we just need to do for ourselves without feeling bad about it.
A lot of the things I used to be upset about just don’t bother me anymore. But one thing that does still bother me is the thought of people around the world suffering so much, and I feel guilty sometimes being so well-off when they’re not. How do we deal with that?
You should feel guilty only if you’re living in excess of what an individual life needs. You need not to be guilty of your wellbeing. It’s like, “I’m healthy, so I feel guilty because somebody is sick.” No, I’m happy. “I’m guilty because somebody is miserable.” No. If there are a lot of miserable people, the best thing you can do is at least you’re joyful. That is the way the world happens. “Everybody is miserable, so let me also become miserable” is not a solution, you’re adding to the problem.
”Misery is not the solution”
So this is the choice that we have with every aspect of our life: either to be a part of the problem or a part of the solution. If you want to be a part of the solution, there’s a lot of misery on the planet. A lot of misery is caused by one human being to another. Naturally, there are a few things that happen, but most of it is caused by people – one set of people to another set of people.
So this is a simple example that, with very little, one can live joyfully. Physical nourishment is needed – unfortunately, a lot of people don’t even have that. They don’t have enough nourishment that is needed for human life to survive and flourish. If that much is there, you’re alive, there’s no room for misery, you know? The rest is only a game: how far you go. How far you go or you do not go is just a game – all your four limbs intact and you’re alive. And stomach is full! Finished.
What’s Your Problem?
In southern India, if you go to the villages when people meet each other – like here, you say how are they — “Saptingala,” that means, “Have you eaten?” Because if you’ve eaten, what is the problem? You can’t get that, you can eat and worry yourself to death. No, no. If you’ve eaten, what more problem can you have? There’s really no other problem in life. If you still have a problem…You don’t know where it begins, where it ends, you don’t know how the planet is spinning, you don’t know where it is floating, you don’t know how the universe happens – without knowing any of these things, you are enjoying the bounty of life. If you cannot be grateful for that, I don’t know. Something seriously wrong with you.
It’s a serious psychological ailment. Because a lot of people have joined your club – or an asylum, whatever you want to call it – you think it’s normal to be miserable. No. Don’t feel guilty of your wellbeing. Do the best that you can do with your life. You are alive, you have youth on your side. What are you hesitating, man? There are things to do! If you don’t know what to do, ask me, I’ll tell you a thousand things I want to do. I’ll set you up on one of those things. My problem is time and energy, okay? So if you have the time and energy, I’ll give you many things to do. Please do it. Let your guilt be washed.