Thursday, September 29, 2016

Do The Right Thing

There have been several examples this week, both in my personal life and from stories I have seen in the news and online, examples of situations where people had the opportunity to do the right thing.

Some of them chose to do the right thing.

Others chose poorly.

If you really think about it though, in life we're almost constantly presented with opportunities to make ethical choices. Some of them are small and insignificant in the overall scheme of things. Some of them are persistent choices we're faced with and maybe we are comfortable fudging them because we've just always done it that way. Some of them aren't clear cut. There is no easily distinguished delineation of right and wrong, good and evil...but everything muddled in between.

Some of them are huge in your face type moments, where the line between right and wrong is a fairly obvious one.

Those are the ones I've seen a lot of this week, for whatever reason.

I think the current social climate in the country, coupled with this three ring circus of an election is bringing issues to the forefront more frequently.

That, and once you really start to pay attention to the world around you, it rapidly becomes impossible to look away.

Essentially, you woke the fuck up and can't go back to sleep.

Question your motivations for why you do what you do, why you say what you say, why you turn a blind eye to the things you tell yourself you can't be bothered with.

Heh.

I'm probably making some people uncomfortable again, but that's my bag.

Anyhow, I'm not going to be getting into the specifics of the situations I've personally witnessed or been involved in, mostly because they aren't my stories to tell.

I can tell you this much though....

You cannot rely on other people to do the right thing.

You cannot.

Their position doesn't matter.

Their title doesn't matter.

Their years of experience won't matter.

Even what they tell you they are going to do doesn't always matter.

What matters is what they actually choose to do when they're actually faced with the decision.

Some people, even people that you really want to believe in, are going to bail. They're going to take the easy way out. They're going to look the other way. They're going to choose the path of least resistance. They're going to say one thing and do another. They're going to lie. They're going to go out of their way to silence you.

And some people take the high road, even if that means that there is a rough climb to that ridge, even if it means that there will be falls and stumbles along the way, even if it means that they'll be exposed and vulnerable while they're up there. Even then, some people will choose to do the right thing.

And you know what?

It's really fucking hard to be that person.

I try to be that person every day. I try to teach my children to be those people, the ones willing to stick their necks out to make sure that people do what they are supposed to do, the ones willing to speak up against injustices and unfairness and actually do something about it. I try.

This week showed me that I'm actually kind of kicking ass at that part of parenting, truth be told.

But it isn't accidental, not even a little bit.

I have to model this behavior. I have to walk the walk. I have to demonstrate to my kids that even when there might be consequences, you still have to do the right thing. You're going to piss people off. You're going to make them uncomfortable. You might lose friends. You might deal with terrible things people say to and about you. But, if your conscience tells you something is wrong, there's a reason...and at the end of the day, you have to live with those choices. You have to be able to sleep at night. You have to live knowing which side of the issues you landed on.

And for me, that means that I have to call out injustices. I have to fight. I have to take action to make sure that people are given time and opportunity to have their voices heard. I have to listen. I have to refuse to take no for an answer.

What about you?

Did you do the right thing today?

If not, day ain't over yet...

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p.s. Freckles, I'm so proud of you that I could burst right now, but I'll work on containing my loud and obnoxiously proud mom tendencies. Love you.

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