Category Archives: Good

Body Parts

Once there was a man who gave away his arm because someone without an arm asked him for it.

Then he gave away a leg, because he happened to meet a man who didn’t have one.

The thing caught on in his own mind and he began to give away his body parts as if this were the most desirable and effortless virtue in the world — giving a lung, a finger, some skin, his hair.

At some point in this deconstruction process, his wife left him. “It’s disgusting!” she said the last time she saw him maimed in the hospital, and she divorced him and married a professional athlete.

But this didn’t deter him, and he gave away his body parts more and more. He gave an eye to a young girl. He gave a kidney to a teen. He gave an ear to a wounded vet, his other leg to another.

His family and friends grew concerned. “You have gone way to far with this,” they said. “You are going to kill yourself.”

“It is the most important thing I have ever done,” he said.

Then he gave away part of his brain. The surgeon who did the work warned him of the consequence, but he insisted that the disabled person he was giving part of his brain to needed it more than he did.

Of course the story, as it went along, was picked up by the news and he was heralded as both a hero and a monster.

However, one particular bio-technical company, specializing in advanced protheses, took a keen interest in him and decided to rebuild him. Funds were raised, research went forward, new ideas surfaced. He was excited about this, and with the same enthusiasm that he had given himself away, he let himself be rebuilt.

The company made him bionic legs, with built-in motors that gave him power and strength, even beyond what he had before, a powerful robotic arm, new skin to replace what he had lost, a new ear which was super sensitive to sounds far and near, a new adjustable eye and an onboard computer than integrated all his parts, even taking over some of the functions of the part of his brain that was missing.

With this, he became a kind of world phenomena, a bionic guru, and he drew large crowds wherever he went, speaking and teaching the most radical ideas about extreme generosity and extreme transformation.

He did a TED’s talk, he was wildly popular, but then as is so typical, he faded from the scene, especially as professional athletes, celebrities and the rich began to commonly and voluntarily purchase enhanced body parts to give them a superior edge in life, entertainment and sport. A devision of sports became popular called “Enhanced,” leading to more and more improvement in bionic ability and accomplishment.

After a time, the man was completely forgotten, and when he died, he was found in a dumpster. The police reported that he had none of his bionic parts on him, and that he was missing more of his natural body parts too, so much so that it took some effort to figure out even who he was, only a DNA test finally resolving his identity.

In the end, it came out that in the last few years he had given all his bionic parts to other people in need, and also that he had given away his remaining arm, remaining ear, remaining eye, his nose, and at the end pretty much the rest of his brain and his heart.

“Well, I guess he died for others, a piece at a time,” said his exwife who was asked by the media.

“Actually,” she added as she flounced out the door of her five star hotel to her new turbo-charged, hybrid Porsche, “He was insane!”

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Good

Once there was a man who wanted everyone to be good.

He himself grew up in a good family. He went to good schools, and was a good student, and when he set out on his career, he founded an non-profit organization based on helping people to become good. He spoke publically about the value of good, wrote widely about the benefits of being good, and modeled with his life the way of the good.

He supported good laws, he teamed with good organizations, he  promoted the campaigns of good leaders and he gave away lots of money to fund good causes.

One day, after he had given an impassioned speech about “The Power of Good,” someone asked, “How do you help someone who wants to be bad?”

“There is no one way,” he said wisely, “to make someone who wants to be bad, good. We must fight the bad with multiple weapons. We must put in place good laws to show them what good and bad really are, we must discipline and punish them when they don’t do what is good, we must teach and train them in the process of becoming good and we must always be good ourselves, so that people can see that true goodness is possible.”

Upon hearing this, the listening crowd cheered.

A week later, when this good man was led away to prison for the embezzlement of his investors money he was asked by a reporter, “How is it that a good man like yourself could possibly have cheated the very people who trusted him?”

He responded confidently, “I did nothing wrong. I took the money so that I could do more good in a way that no one would know about.”

“Really?”  said the reporter, “It looks like from the evidence that you spent most of that money on homes, cars, trips and entertainments for yourself.”

“I only did that,” said the good man, “so that I could model the intrinsic benefits that come from being truly good.”

When the court case was over and the good man was sentenced to many years in prison, one of the investors who lost her life savings to his swindle, was given a chance to confront him.”

“You harmed me,’ she said, “You took my life savings! Now I don’t have enough to live on and nothing to leave to my children. And the worse thing about you,  is what you won’t admit and don’t know.”

“And what doesn’t he know?” asked the judge for everyone in front of the packed courtroom, sitting on the edges of their seats and listening intently.

“He doesn’t know,” said the woman, “That none of us, including him, are good. At best, we are just honest, and perhaps forgiven.”

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