Many people think that being spiritual implies being outwardly sweet, gentle, kind and loving. That needs to be put in perspective. After all, we often miss the core essence and get stuck on the superficial aspects these days.
Unlike artificial sweeteners, natural cane sugar juice is less sweet and has sour and astringent tastes due to minerals that balance it. Similarly, natural goodness is more complex than the artificial, dumbed down and one-dimensional notions of goodness that most people aspire to in this age!
The main issue is not whether you please or hurt others. No matter what you do, you WILL please some and hurt some! It is more important to engage in actions that are driven by a sense of purpose, rather than purposeless venting on one end or image building on the other.
Though entire cosmos springs from Self, different beings in the field of duality have different natures and karmik momentum. Friction and conflict are inherent in the field of duality.
There is no single definition of “right” or “wrong” and there is only a balance between different cosmic forces with different dharmas operating through different beings. For example, dharma of the force of hunger instinct operating in a tiger and dharma of the force of survival instinct operating in a deer may collide.
What matters is which forces are driving your actions and how much you identify with them! You can honestly look into yourself and judge why you are doing what you are doing. Is it for survival? Is it for sense gratification? Is it for the need to be praised? Is it for the need to comply and fit in? Is it for the need to dominate? Is it for improving or sustaining your image in the minds of others? Is it for the perceived good of wife, children or family? Is it for the perceived good of extended family? Is it for the perceived good of a larger community? Etc etc.
Actions driven by a higher force can hurt others, while actions driven by a lower force can please others.
Being a conduit of a higher force without attachment or identification is the best. Being a conduit of a higher force with attachment and identification is next. Being a conduit of a lower force without attachment or identification is next. Being a conduit of a lower force with attachment and identification is the worst.
As various internal forces compete to fulfill their dharmas using you as a conduit, play a wise facilitator and unbiased referee!! See the forces in play for what they are, without getting carried away, and consciously pick the superior forces! Even as you do it, try to minimize the attachment to it. In other words, don’t be too upset if that force cannot fulfill its dharma for some reason. Be flexible and adaptive.
Developing sweet and gentle exterior without honestly dealing with and overcoming problematic forces and instincts operating within oneself, is like putting perfume and jewelery on a corpse. It may look and smell good for a while, but will rot nevertheless..