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Doing the Right Thing

Woman looking into distance whilst thinking

Years ago, I stumbled upon a quote by T.S. Eliot, “Keep true, never be ashamed of doing right; decide on what you think is right and stick to it.”  The quote resonated deeply with my personal and professional values.  After all, my life’s work was about doing the right thing and assisting positive life-changing opportunities for others.  The quote became my mantra.  I adopted this belief in my work and my everyday life.  It was not always easy figuring out what was right that benefitted others; however, it was always clear to me that fighting for equality was a no brainer.  To some this may appear conceited, though through the years this mantra has lent me confidence and a voice.

Lately, I am stumbling through many personal and professional challenging obstacles, uncertainties, and complicated questions.  Did the world suddenly become so complicated?  What happened to the simplicity of my mantra?  I revisited the quote and became captivated with the meaning behind my diehard mantra, “doing the right thing.”  What does it exactly mean?  Why is it sometimes so hard to be strong and do the right thing for yourself?  I guess once you add the “self” into the mixture, we have just created what science would define as a compound chemical reaction.  A reaction can explode, fizzle or create a new complex discovery.

I opt for complex discoveries.  The discovery is when you open yourself up to reactions; you choose to learn more about yourself.  (Though some may not.)  The reactions can’t help but touch your most inner core sense of being and values.  It questions who you are.  You are propelled in different directions, bombarded with multitude of thoughts and your emotions are baited. You process the elements and your sense of being with the world around you.  Are you going to combust or will you create a new level of knowledge, awareness and resolve?  The scary part of this whole event is not knowing what will come next and the potential of your personal biases being confronted.  You may even discover something you don’t like about yourself.

Know that this will happen.  When we choose to transition to a higher level of self-awareness; we will learn about our own prejudices, biases, values, beliefs and behaviors. This is a very brave resolution.  Remembering a book that was extremely helpful, The Four Agreements, a book written by Don Miguel Ruiz.  It is an inspiring and thought-provoking book.  The book can help guide you to the next level of self-awareness. In a future blog, I will explore the connection between “doing the right thing” and “moral courage.”

To stay true to my mantra, I try to remember three things:

  1. Be open and present at all times.
  2. Be honest with myself.
  3. Embrace and develop my personal strengths and challenges.

Keep evolving.

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