Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Doing The Right Thing

I always figured it was supposed to be pretty black and white. You're a good person, so you always do the right thing. If you know what the right thing is, you do it.

So why does doing the right thing have to suck so often?

Being honest is the right thing, right? What about when that honesty ends up hurting a friend? What about if that honesty changes things irrevocably? Still, it's the right thing to do, right?

When your soon-to-be ex-husband wants to talk - you do it because it's the right thing to do. You sit and listen to all his worries and concerns, you set him straight on the stuff you know, offer opinions on the stuff you don't, and in the end you're going to do what you're going to do anyway, right?

A very good friend of mine, was facing this dilema last week: when a child's father wants to see the child, you allow it because it's the right thing. It doesn't matter that the father of the child isn't a "dad" by any stretch of the imagination. It doesn't matter that the child has found a "dad" in someone else. It doesn't matter that everyone would like to pretend that the "dad" in question was also the father. We have to do the right thing for our children.

So how come it is so easy for other people to *not* do the right thing. How can there be people in the world for whom, doing the right thing for anyone else is not even a recognized function? How can we all be so fundamentally different? Are we created that way? Is it learned behavior? Back to the age-old question - is i nature or nurture?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this one. Please feel free to comment.


alienbody said...

Doing the right thing always has some sort of consequence, because often the right thing isn't right for all involved. It doesn't need to be. You strive to make a balance and then when you can't there is only so much you can do without giving yourself up completely. If you are at that point, it's time for a permanent change.

As for nature vs. nurture, that will never be answered. Too many factors and variables and....well, TOO MUCH!

Chickenbells said...

You know...I was just having this conversation last nigh...on the surface, it seems like the people who are doing what they want...consequences be damned, are getting ahead. They can do anything and don't seem to have to take responsibility for anything AND get rewarded. I have so much "right and wrong" beliefs swimming around in my head that if I tried to do half of what they did...I get slapped by the universe...BUT...being human, and being the master justifier makes me able to justify almost anything...so, I wonder if that's right or wrong? I think often that right and wrong is so different for everyone that it becomes a belief system...which makes me wonder if there is a set right or wrong? Where are the rules to this thing? I mostly run around and watch people do a lot of things that I don't necessarily agree with, see them supposedly succeed...and then yell, "it's not fair!"

Oh...I tagged you as well today...cause' I KNOW you don't have enough to do already ;)