Come on. Be real. Goodness is for saps. It's for that big stupid puppet Barney on TV. Nice guys finish last. Look out for number one. Right?
Aristotle talked about the importance of moderation in everything. (Well, almost everything— more on that later.) Even something like courage calls for moderation. Too little courage is obviously cowardice. Too much is recklessness. But Aristotle also said there's only one thing to which there can be no excess: goodness.
Yes, if you're one of those 'everything in moderation including moderation' people you can run with that one: you can not be too good.
But where does being good get you? Pats on the back. Or maybe people think you're a fool, a do-gooder. So is being good a waste of time? No!
There can be no doubt that being good benefits others, but it benefits the person who is good as well. And those benefits are massive.
Consider this quote from Muslih-Ud-Din Saadi:
Kind people already feel good, because they are kind.
Kindness, goodness is its own reward. It can't fail. It's intrinsic. If you're good to others, you are good to yourself. Do you think you can do good deeds and not be benefited? It's not possible.
'Oh, but that guy or that woman,' some people say, 'they are really ambitious, they're world-beaters. Look at Tiger Woods.' Okay, look at Tiger Woods. Yeah, he's got a lot of money and fame. Is he happy? He was married to a beautiful woman, had two beautiful children— and was sleeping with porn stars, risking all that fame and wealth and his family's health and psychological well-being.
Now I'm not saying wealthy or famous people are never happy or that they never do good. But wealth or fame is no guarantee of happiness or goodness. And I'm sorry, but if you're a billionaire, you have not spent your time being good, because you have been too busy amassing all that money.
Ponder this quote from Frederick A. Pottle from Boswell and the Girl from Botany Bay:
An idle, unhappy, dissipated man, but a man who in his feckless wandering through life had managed to perform more acts of kindness than the majority of his successful colleagues.
Who you are in your soul is more important than who you are in your bank account. I'd rather hang out with a poor guy who was a good person, than a super-successful jerk.
What's important, friends? That's the question. My answer: showing love and care and goodness to my fellow man. And when I do that, it all comes back to me and fills my soul to the brim. Be good. Be kind.