“Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would most likely be worth it.”
― Harvey MacKay
When we think about doing the right thing we invariably end up comparing ourselves on a scale. “I didn’t kill a million people, so I’m a good person.” How many times has that statement been heard? Or maybe “circumstances just make inherently good people to bad things”. I think that the right thing is often seen as the thing which we want everyone else to do but we don’t want to do it ourselves. I must confess that I do it too. Saying “I don’t want people to be mean to me and judge me” and then 30 minutes later thinking “why are they wearing blue and green without something in-between!!” Most of us would laugh at the example I gave, yet secretly admit it was true, recognising that they have done similar things themselves.
I think that doing the right thing can also mean doing the little things. Maybe it might be disposing of your rubbish in the right bin. Or chasing after the person who just dropped their wallet to return it to them. These are what would be considered “right” things which come at little cost to you. You might lose 5 minutes out of your day but can see an obvious reward.
The only time when some people might have a problem with doing the right thing is when it comes at a cost to them. When tests are returned students will often come up and ask for more marks but very few will go up and ask to have marks taken off.
All too often the cost of doing the right thing outweighs the benefits of doing the task and it may have terrible consequences. I need to remember that I need to do the right thing even when it is going to cost me something. If many people do this, it will create an incredible change in the world. It won’t always be easy but it will eventually be worth it.