There are right ways to do things and wrong ways. Doing the right thing is much more than being moral. Doing the right thing brings us a happiness that causes us to feel at ease, unworried and unafraid of what may happen next. It’s a happiness that doesn’t go away. The Buddha compared this type of happiness to a person’s shadow: it’s always following you but you can’t tell it’s there unless you look at it.
Doing things the wrong way is what brings us those feelings we don’t like. If we say mean things, we’re going to make someone else angry, and what do most people do to someone who has made them angry? They get even, they do something to harm the other person. So it starts with us. We create our unhappiness, and this can cause us to feel hopeless, like we’re stuck dragging a heavy weight all the time. Wrong actions create burdens by using a simile of an ox dragging a cart. The cart is heavy and burdensome. It’s as if with each wrong action we take, we are tossing another heavy rock into a wagon we are tugging along behind us. If we’d just stop putting heavy rocks in the wagon, it would be easier to pull.