Yesterday I was asked, “Mo, would you rather do the right thing or do something right?” To which I immediately responded, “Both!” And then I was promptly reprimanded and told that I had to answer one or the other.
After thinking for a moment, I responded with, “Well, if I’m doing something right, aren’t I doing the right thing? And vice versa?” For example, when I was younger and my mom asked me to clean my room, I would do my best to stuff everything in the closet or a drawer and if either or both could close properly, I was doing the job right. And doing the right thing by obeying my mom.
The problem came when she would come into my room to inspect the job I had done and as I stood beaming with pride, she grew red in the face and ranted on and on about how I was lazy and watched too much tv and I “would never see the light of day if I couldn’t do a job right.”
So then that lead to a discussion about WHO decides what is right and wrong? Because what I think is the right thing, could be wrong in the eyes of another. Isn’t that what we are constantly faced with in today’s world? People who think their actions are the right thing to do in a given situation and others who are quick to point out the mistakes . . . according to their own standards?
I am certainly not condoning all the actions of others. And I do believe there is a basic understanding of right and wrong that is inherent, or at the very least, learned by an appropriate age, but what about those gray areas? Is it my right to judge another for their actions?
My final answer was, “I want to always do my best to do the right thing right!” According to my standards and those of The Big Man Upstairs.