I have discovered many people believe if they do the right thing, and sometimes this means following “the rules,” then they turn into a sheep like everyone else. Why do the right thing in this World when there is already so much pain and suffering? Can I make a change by doing the right thing? Or will I just blindly be following what I have been told my whole life is the “right thing to do?”
But, doing the right thing does not always mean you are following the rules blindly. It does not mean you are losing yourself and following the authoritarian beings that have told you your entire life to follow rules without questioning them. Doing right sometimes means standing up against those types of people and beliefs. Doing right means that you live from your heart for one human being to another. Doing right is on a whole other dimension than what we find in this rigid physical world. Quite simply, doing the right thing is a spiritual matter.
One of the biggest lessons I have learned in my short twenty-eight years is that you cannot live with integrity in one area of your life, and with none in a different area. This will create nothing but confusion, shame, and guilt. Align your thoughts and actions, and peace starts to develop. Choices become easier. The kindness and rightness that you put out into the World, starts to come back to you. It all builds upon itself, no matter how small the choice, thought, action. We all have a good side, and a not-so-good side. Which one are you paying attention to; feeding?
It can be really simple, if we allow it to be. What are you putting out into the World? Are you standing up for people being treated unfairly? Are you working on yourself to become a wise example for others? Are you living from your true self, which is loving, kind, patient, and helpful? Are you contributing to the enlightenment of others or are you contributing to the diseased, hateful thoughts of the World? What do you want to contribute? What do you want your legacy to be?
I see a lot of compromise concerning this topic. “I’ll do the right thing today, in this situation, because I am in a good mood,” or “No one will know what decision I made, so does doing right really matter?” If you find yourself compromising in these ways, know that you are not alone! Most people need to work at living from integrity consistently and using that moral compass to make decisions for themselves, no matter how small that choice is. Life is just a bunch of choices. “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.”
It is interesting to me the aversion some people have created to this type of thinking. It is not that I have never stolen something, lied, hurt someone, hurt myself, or made the wrong choices. But as I have grown from these places, I realized how even making a small choice against what is right, develops a shame within myself. Because I know better. I understand that we are all connected, so if I am hateful towards another human being, I am hateful towards myself. If I lash out at another human being, I am lashing out at myself. That is not what I want to perpetuate in this world. It is not the person I want to be. That dark side is not the side I want to feed.
And through this knowledge, I have realized that every small choice counts. I want to be okay with myself every night that I go to bed, knowing that I was my highest self that day. And to me that means living from kindness, compassion, and from a place of rightness. I do not always do this, and many times I treat the people closest to me the worst. But I know my intention is there. I know that my consciousness is working to heal the anger, resentments, and hate that I have stirring within myself that blurs the ideas of right and wrong.
Know that your true self (who we are deep down before the anger, resentment, hate, and experiences came along that we let define us) easily makes the right choice in any decision. Tap into that solid strength to help guide your rightness in each interaction with yourself, each interaction with others. Help awaken the World.
Since it is a day to remember and celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I thought it would be pertinent to create a dialogue about living with integrity. There are some people who fearlessly live to do right for themselves and the World, and I can’t think of anyone who would disagree that Dr. MLK Jr. was one of them. Our society is indebted to his diligence and bravery.
There is an opportunity to do right in every situation, and it takes courage to follow your inner light. If we put fear aside to live courageously in our power, we would fully be living the legacy of Dr. MLK Jr.
“There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.