As I was reading "Something Wicked This Way Comes" to my children last week I bookmarked a page because I was intrigued with Bradbury's summary of how the good man doesn't always look happy.
In the story a young boy, Will, was talking to his father about how he thought that being good meant being happy. His father didn't agree and proceeded to explain his experiences with living the obedient life.
I paused to wonder if I had equated being good with being happy.
Does being good lead to a peaceful, if not happy life?
Here is the passage and I'd love to hear how it struck you.
"Now, look, when did you think being good meant being happy?"
"Since now learn otherwise. Sometimes the man who looks happiest in town, with the biggest smile, is the one carrying the biggest load of sin. There are smiles and smiles; learn to tell the dark variety from the light.
The seal-barker, the laugh-shouter, half the time he is covering up. He's had his fun and he's guilty. And men do love sin, Will, oh how they love it, never doubt, in all shapes, sizes, colors, and smells. Times come when troughs, not tables, suit our appetites. hear a man too loudly praising others, and look to wonder if he didn't just get up from the sty.
On the other hand, the unhappy, pale, put-upon man walking by, who looks all guilt and sin, why, often that's your good man with a capital G, Will. For being good is a fearful occupation; men strain at it and sometimes break in two. I've known a few.
You work twice as hard to be a farmer as to be his hog. I suppose it's thinking about trying to be good makes the crack run the wall one night. A man with high standards, too, the least hair falls on him sometimes wilts his spine. He can't let himself alone, won't lift himself off the hook if he falls just a breath from grace."
Something Wicked this Way Comes, Ray Bardbury