"Are you a good person or not?" by Emerald A. Behrens
A short story about being good
A child was born and was poor.
The child grew up to be a poor man.
The poor man worked hard his whole life,
eventually married and had children,
and then grandchildren.
The man and his family died poor.
. . .
The man was reincarnated into a girl,
who grew up to be a poor woman.
The woman worked hard all her life,
but was still poor.
She asked God before she died,
"Why did you not make me born rich?"
God finally answered when she died,
"I wanted you to be a good person".
. . .
The woman was born again as a child,
the child grew up in poverty.
The child learned the value of money,
and that no matter how hard you worked,
you would never have enough.
There was no point in trying to make money.
Working hard meant you had to survive,
even without money at times.
Those that worked hard, suffered,
and their suffering meant they were good,
because they were not bitter, but worked
. . .
The child died in a tragic accident.
When the child arrived at the gates of heaven,
the child asked, "I worked hard all my life,
and never had enough. I wanted money,
but had to spend it only on food and shelter.
Now that I'm dead,
what was my life for?"
God answered the child,
"I wanted you to be a good person.
Did you live your life only for money?"
The child thought then answered truthfully,
"I needed money to survive but only,
for the things to live for such as:
shelter, food, clothing and work.
I never had a chance to enjoy my life,
or have the things other people have."
There was a long silence before God answered,
"Go and be reborn. Shall you be poor or rich?"
The child chose, "Rich."
God asked, "Shall you be good or evil?"
The child hesitated, then said, "Good."
God answered finally, "That is up to you."
. . .
The child was reborn into a rich person,
who had everything they ever needed and wanted.
They never knew poverty or hardship,
and never had to work hard,
for the rest of their life.
The rich person never asked why they had been born,
never asked why they suffered,
for they knew no suffering,
and never doubted their existence.
They did not question God at the gates of heaven,
and didn't know what to say when God asked them,
"Are you a good person or not?"