It’s Cool To Be Good Again

It's Cool to Be Good Again

Last week, on a whim, I met up with two former colleagues for coffee. When we had first met a decade ago, we were charging full-speed ahead in our corporate careers. Today, all three of us are at very different places, but answering the same call.

One of them had been the patron saint of the macho hedonistic life. Today, as he bit into his salad, he said he had given up drinking and smoking. He now volunteers as a sports coach at St Catherine’s Orphanage every weekend. Once a collector of $200 Diesel jeans, he said he hadn’t bought new clothes for six months. His face looked radiant as he spoke, his eyes clearer than I ever remember them when he spoke: “I go home from work at 5:00 pm these days. My old dreams of success are still around. If they work out it will be great – but they don’t define me anymore.”

The other colleague at the table was a former marketing head honcho. He recently founded a company to innovatively use media and technology for education. His first project would reach a million poor children soon. “I pay myself much less than what I could have earned as an MBA at the age of 34,” he said to us, “but I feel good at the end of the day. I have everything in life – a house, food, clothes, dog, car, computer – and a beautiful woman to spend it with. I could have had a bigger car and a bigger house and two more Plasma TVs but I feel good about my life right now.”

When I look at my Facebook timeline, I see that more and more friends around the world, young and old, are waking up to something. My 70something dad has begun a water conservation campaign that has saved 5.5m litres of water and a pretty 20something hypnotherapist I know has begun an NGO for slum children. Not everyone is quitting & serving society – some are just beginning yoga, some are reconnecting with creativity, some are finding themselves drawn to spirituality or alternative healing, some are beginning to question whether their lifestyle is worth it and some are simply forwarding positivity daily. Old beliefs, thought patterns, persons, things and situations are exiting – sometimes creating temporary chaos and confusion as people grapple with ‘what-next?’

Psychics, channels and spiritual teachers say these are all effects of the rigid patriarchal Old Energy making way for a free-flowing New Energy: effects that we will see more clearly in hindsight decades from now. Whether you believe in this spiritual perspective (like I do) or have never heard of it (like my two friends), it doesn’t seem to matter. The change is happening anyway.

Much as I dislike most advertising, especially cola advertising, they do capture the zeitgeist. The recent global Coke ‘Crazy For Good’ campaign features random acts of kindness from London, Cape Town & Buenos Aires. “People call me ‘crazy’ and ‘weird’ and ‘strange,’” the young do-gooder in the Coke commercial says. “But it’s cool. I like it.” Right message, wrong spokesperson.

Speaking of wrong spokespersons, last February, even the arch-icon of ‘80s excess, Gordon Gekko, has a new mantra. In a new FBI ad, Michael Douglas denounced corporate greed and says his Gordon Gekko character was wrong — greed is not good after all.

If you can smell it all around, it has become cool to be good again.

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18 thoughts on “It’s Cool To Be Good Again

  1. Thank you dearest Aalif Surti for this blog post! I never believed anything else as to do good is cool to be friendly and helpful is cool to make other happy (and by doing so oneself is happy and grateful too) is absolutely COOL!! LoL Béatrice

    • Yup Beatrice, so happy the ‘80s are finally over. That reckless nothing-succeeds-like-excess party lingered all through the first decade of this century. Perhaps it was the Great Recession that hit the US and Europe like a buzz killer. Or perhaps it was us beginning to see the after-effects effects of decades of corruption and consumerism on the planet. Either ways, its gone forever… along with shoulder pads, acid washed jeans and big hair. 🙂

      • It is great to see and a a true joy and relief that finally a large amount of people realize, that it is beautiful, satisfying and cool to do good, to leave this selfish careerism behind and to become more involved in public welfare …and yes, I am more than happy that the 80ies are finally gone – I don’t miss them (was a teenager then)! I think people like you (and me) have been always around, we might not have changed much but today our voiced are better heard :-)) So keep going and do good and stay cool :-)))) LoL

  2. Dearest Aalif Sir…
    Big Big Thank You for this blog where it is clearly expressed that What you do is not important but what matters is at the end of the day one is happy because of the Smiles and kindness one has spread. It is all about Understanding and Giving. Like I love spreading Smiles and at times helpful which gives me Peace. So Thank U again for sharing this Blog and I wish someday I meet you Aalif Sir…
    Regards
    Pallavi 🙂

  3. Lovely sentiments Aalif – love your blogs! They always send me away thinking in the right direction, usually with a smile on my face. Thank you for them. 🙂

  4. thank you for the reminder of the good that’s happening on the planet! so often we’re inundated with fear messages but in truth so many are awakening…i’ve also been following what the channellers and spiritual teachers have been saying for years, but i love that some people are living this way without having this external knowledge. it shows that something big and wonderful is happening! namaste, aleya

    • Yup, it seems that it is happening regardless of whether people know about it or not. But I suspect it’s sometimes more difficult without the framework. Letting go of old dreams, even if they are pointless, is not easy for any of us… 🙂

  5. It is true that nowadays you can feel the change everywhere around you.. on one hand we lament over every degenerating aspect of the society, but we can’t deny the fact that change is happening, irrespective of whether people are young or old. Otherwise, so many people wouldn’t have shown the courage to come forward and line up for Nirbhaya in Delhi that day. As the ad of a ceiling fan shows, hawa ab badalegi. Let’s be optimistic & do our share in the change that’s gonna happen. Thank you for sharing this 🙂

  6. [This is slightly tangential from what you’ve written about, but I thought it was somewhere related to what you said in this blog post]
    It’s fascinating that so many people are veering towards finding ‘true happiness’ (whatever that may be for each person) at the same time. I myself have recently resolved to make life decisions based on that goal. I am still in college, and I realized that I was looking at everything from a very utilitarian point of view. I now view the subject I’m studying as something I am fascinated by and something I love more than something that will give me a career. I am back to pursuing hobbies I used to love, and I give more time to myself…I find that I have never felt so truly happy 🙂

  7. ..on weekends I’m working in nation building.. become part of a movement called Nav Bharat..
    Good governance.. Creating.. Leaders that we believe !

  8. Inspiration and awakening works in ways far more beautiful than we can predict….and so, many people, we would think unlinked, seem to join hands & reach the same wisdom…life will takes us where we need to go, no matter how we try to condition it. The World is waking up to a better dawn, each day! Thank you, for reinforcing my belief, with your very beautiful observation, mister Surti 🙂 God bless!

  9. There always stays some perfume to the hand that gives roses. (Confucius)

    It is true that giving to others and doing good around us , we draw some “satisfaction” and this satisfaction is a pure joy to consume without moderation!
    We unfortunately can not do anything alone, it is true, we can not save the world from war, famine, drought, or repair the ozone layer or slow the melting of glacier .. But .. every human being is an artist and his life is his piece ….. So we can make our life a masterpiece or not, be heroes or villains, ….. There are a thousand and a way to be happy, the everything is to understand it and make it a priority,even if there are days without and although sometimes the future looks scary, We must persevere on this way ! The only thing you cannot choose is the end … that remains in the hands of God.(Allahu akbar)
    Chokria & namasté
    Fatima

  10. There always stays some perfume to the hand that gives roses. (Confucius)

    It is true that giving to others and doing good around us , we draw some “satisfaction” and this satisfaction is a pure joy to consume without moderation!
    We unfortunately can not do anything alone, it is true, we can not save the world from war, famine, drought, or repair the ozone layer or slow the melting of glacier .. But .. every human being is an artist and his life is his piece ….. So we can make our life a masterpiece or not, be heroes or villains, ….. There are a thousand and a way to be happy, the everything is to understand it and make it a priority,even if there are days without and although sometimes the future looks scary, We must persevere on this way ! The only thing you cannot choose is the end … that remains in the hands of God.
    Chokria & namasté
    Fatima

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