“DOING THE RIGHT THING is not the problem.  Knowing what the right thing is, that’s the challenge.   Lyndon B. Johnson

As a child, most of us learned the difference between RIGHT and wrong. Be it through a lesson or direct action, learning the differences was part of our childhood experience.  We learned that honesty, sharing, compassion, integrity, loyalty, and respect were characteristics that we should strive to have.  Whereas lying, cheating, backstabbing, and stealing weren’t qualities that we didn’t want to have.  Even childhood organizations–the Jack and Jill club, the girl and boy scouts- promoted the importance of having ethics, responsibility, and good character.  No doubt, as a child, the underlying motto was to be a good person and to ALWAYS “DO THE RIGHT THING” but, that doesn’t seem to be the motto for adults.  Because as adults it seems like DOING THE RIGHT THING turns into what is the RIGHT THING to do.  Is DOING THE RIGHT THING situational or is a lifestyle?  Do you always DO THE RIGHT THING?  Honestly, I TRY!!  So, for this week’s blog post, let’s talk SHIP about what happens when we DO THE RIGHT THING!!!

We live in a world where being RIGHT is more important than DOING RIGHT!   A world where people, in their own eyes, tend to believe their way is RIGHT even when they’re dead wrong.  Because people’s motivations are different, their perception of the absolute standard of righteousness or what is actually RIGHT may be skewed.  So, what does DO THE RIGHT THING mean?  It means making decisions that are not based on our own personal needs, on financial gains, that don’t expand our popularity, or enforce our personal beliefs.  DOING THE RIGHT THING is simply doing what is truthful, right, and good, regardless of how it affects us.  DOING THE RIGHT THING is acting responsibly because it is THE RIGHT THING TO DO! 

But why should we DO THE RIGHT THING if no one else is?  Like most decisions, we have the freedom to choose whether we want to live a life filled with DO THE RIGHT THING moments or NOT.  Our value system will dictate our choice and our choice will dictate the outcome. Nonetheless, either choice has its own set of distinctive benefits. Choosing to DO THE RIGHT THING, will foster personal integrity, make us feel good about self, helps others, enhance our ability to be true to ourselves, lead to self honestly, and demonstrate genuinely good intentions.  Whereas if we choose NOT TO, we lose the trust and honor of others, evoke feelings of guilt and unworthiness, diminish our self-esteem, and internally experience a sense of emptiness. DOING THE RIGHT THING is not always the easiest choice but it is the choice that helps others and makes us feel better about ourselves.

Recently, I had to face the dilemma whether to DO THE RIGHT THING or not in a situation that had nothing to do with me.  It involved a hit and run car accident that I’d witnessed.  I stopped to see if the driver was okay, she was, and I told her that I’d gotten the license plate of the other vehicle and gave it to her along with my name and number. She was so thankful. The appreciative and relieved look on her face reinforced that I was DOING THE RIGHT THING.  Even though I wasn’t involved in the situation, didn’t know anyone who was, and had nothing to gain, when the insurance investigator called, I answered his questions openly and honestly.  Because I knew my obligation was to DO THE RIGHT THING.  

We’ve all had an opportunity to speak up, to make a difference, to change a situation, or to right a wrong, but did we?  If you didn’t don’t worry, another situation will present itself and you can decide again. See, I strive to DO THE RIGHT THING because it’s the way I was raised.  I strive to DO THE RIGHT THING because it honors my parents, grandparents, and myself.  I strive to DO THE RIGHT THING because it feels good to do RIGHT. In James 4:17, it says, “Anyone who knows THE RIGHT THING TO DO but does NOT DO IT is sinning.”  So, the main reason I strive to DO THE RIGHT THING is because it pleases GOD!!! Indeed, DOING THE RIGHT THING may be a hard thing to do. But DOING THE RIGHT THING IS and will ALWAYS be….. THE RIGHT THING TO DO because it PLEASES GOD!!! Step up and DO THE RIGHT THING!!

SHIP TALK: Is DOING THE RIGHT THING situational or is a lifestyle?

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