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There may not be any way I can express myself to avoid being misunderstood by some who consider it an axiom that one's internal feelings are primary. Certainly it is foolish to argue the validity of my opposing axiom. Yet I will say that I disagree.

I enjoy comforts and amusements but I don't think of them as being my purpose for living. I tell myself I should be pleased to be flattered but in practice, it annoys me. The only thing that gives me solid satisfaction and lasting peace of mind is the certain knowledge that I have done something of benefit to my fellows. It upsets me to read of phantasmal greater good. What is more real than good works?

Unselfish purpose has gotten a bad name; I'm not sure why. We have come to mistrust anyone who does not speak to his own greed or self-indulgence. Exploring this deviation is beyond the scope of this post. Please accept that I am entirely sincere when I say that I hope to be of service to other people; and that I judge success by this yardstick: their benefit, not my renown. I should be content to pass in complete obscurity if I had a reliable way of determining my utility to others, in the absence of their expressions. It seems I am not destined for Great Works of undeniable and blatant value to the world. My pedestrian contributions are much more difficult of evaluation.

My readers also seem to be missing the crucial point that my work is not central to this essay. All of us who contribute are equally left in the dark unless those of us who benefit fail to express our regard. I submit that those who are certain they do good, despite (or absent) the criticisms of others, have chosen a fool's paradise.

Death only closes a Man's Reputation, and determines it as good or bad. —Joseph Addison

In reply to Re: Rewards of Service by Xiong
in thread Rewards of Service by Xiong

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