What kind of motivation drives people to do things

Different people have different things to motivate them in this world. The very popular but  most shallow one is to focus on oneself. For these people, becoming smarter, richer and more powerful person is their main focus and the rest like their family and society will come afterward. This life philosophy, if applied correctly and rationally, gives its adherents probably the greatest degree of benefits for himself but net loss for other things.

On the higher level, people who have something outside of themselves as their motivation. These things can be in form of individuals or abstract entities. People in this level are motivated to do things for their family, race, society, nation, or political ideology. I considered these people to be higher because the total net benefit for society is greater than first one.

However, you notice that abstract entities (such as family, society, or nation) have limited scope. Which means if your focus is your family automatically you will have less or no priority to people outside your family. Then, what kind of motivation that enable us to care and considerate to all people, possibly including nature? After all, we are consisting of different races, gender, age, social status, and species.

I think the most powerful reason and drive to care about all things, including those that hostile against us, our family and our society is that all living beings are creation of God. So, if we make our purpose to be motivated for God, we will be motivated to do good to others including other people without really care about race, gender, age, or even species. Even Lord Jesus also told us in Parables of the Sheep and Goats (Matthews 25: 31-46) that care for marginalized people is the same as to care for him. In the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15: 11-32), God even care to the sinner and eagerly wait for his repentance.

There will be various questions about if God is so care about all his creations why then he does not immediately remove evil in this world? Either he cannot, or he can but does not want or he does not exist after all. The people that made this argument usually assumed that God is so powerful that he literally can do anything including logically contradictory things. However, it is not so simple.

Let’s say God decides to strike all evil people to die, then it does not ensure that there will be no more evil people since good people upon witnessing that event can become angry and then rebel against God. Hence, new evil people will appear. This issue happened because the knowledge of good and evil is part of every human already.

Then, how about erasing knowledge of good and evil? Well, it is trickier since you cannot unlearn information once you know it. I believe it is because memory is part of our soul and hence God cannot completely your erase memory without eliminating your soul. But then, if it is so, how about mercy and forgiveness? Should all people be eliminated just because we know something which can potentially produce evil?

So, you see, eliminating evil and creating heaven, if you consider its logical implications is not that simple. But, there is an insurance for future. Unlike care about others which does not guarantee you to receive the same treatment, God is all-righteous, all-wise and all-loving. We can be sure that all things we do for him and his creations will not be in vain. That should be enough motivation for us to do good to all creation for we know that he works all things for good for those who love him (Romans 8: 28).

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About edwin2026

I am currently Indonesian expatriate working in Singapore, graduated from Nanyang Technological University with major in Computer Science in 2009. I am also working as software engineer, developing and maintaining systems for Singapore civil service. I write this blog to share to readers about my life principle on various aspects, like religion, politics, business, relationship, and technology. I am interested in alternative worldviews because I found that many things taught to us by establishments are not true and harmful. My dream is to become self-sufficient in food and energy. Hopefully, someday I can have my own fruit garden and my own power plant and able to sell my electricity to power company. I hope readers enjoy my blog.
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