Do the right thing.
We hear it in different forms our entire lives. From childhood on, this message seems to be at the core of everything we’re taught. For Christians like myself, it’s often said more to the tune of “do the right thing because it’s what God would want you to do.” Personally, I fully believe that this is correct, and should be at the heart of our Christian beliefs. After all, if we profess our faith but don’t show it in our everyday lives by doing this proverbial “right thing”, then we’re hypocrites, plain and simple.
However, I also believe that in our society, the concept of “doing the right thing” is highly romanticized, especially through literature, plays, movies, and the like.
In The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, we all cheer when Peter decides to fight a duel to the death with Miraz for the throne. In Newsies, we all rally behind Jack Kelly when he gives the bribe back to Pulitzer and joins the strike again. In the Little House on the Prairie books, we all admire Laura for vowing to become a teacher in order to make enough money to send Mary to a college for the blind. In The Princess Bride, we all root for Westley when he puts his life on the line time after time in the name of true love (or, “twu wuv”, if you’re the Impressive Clergyman). In fact, you can find a “do the right thing” moment in pretty much every book and movie.
Although I love all of these stories dearly, I think that because of them, we tend to go out into our lives imagining that there will be people applauding us when we do the right thing, and that our instrumental movie score will build up to a triumphant crescendo while sparkles float down around us.
As someone who recently had to do the right thing, I can tell you that unfortunately, this ain’t the case.
To put it simply, doing the right thing is hard. Really hard.
Continue reading “To the One Trying to Do the Right Thing”