3 Obstacles to Doing the Right Thing
Updated: Jul 26, 2018
Doing the right thing isn’t always easy. We can have good intentions to always act honorably and help those who need us, but often hold back because we don’t think we have the time or the money, or fear the consequences of our actions.
Obstacle #1: Time
How often do you have to turn down doing favors for people because it would take up too much of your time? We want to be a good person and help people out, but when we start to think about all the other things we have going on in our busy lives, it’s easy to conclude that we just don’t have the time to squeeze it in. The “time” we are likely thinking about is the hours we typically spend awake. But what if we were to add an extra hour or two to our day by waking up earlier or going to bed later? Missing that amount of sleep isn’t going to kill us, but it will give us the extra time that’s needed to do what’s being asked of us. What it comes down to is, we can usually find the time to do the right thing and help out those who need it, we just have to get a little less sleep every once in a while.
Obstacle #2: Money
I can think of countless times in my life when I received a service for something - a medical check-up, a house repair - but never got billed for the work. Whenever this happened, I would consider it a lucky break and justify keeping my mouth shut because, if they forgot to bill me, then it was their fault (besides, those doctors are already rich!). Similar justifications can also occur when we damage someone’s property accidentally, or owe money to a friend. When we realize how much we’d have to spend in these situations to make something right, our frugality gene kicks in and tries to convince us that it’s no big deal, or that we’re not at fault. You have to ignore this.
If you owe someone money for something, don’t just hope they forgot about it, pay up. If you borrowed someone’s car, fill it up with gas before you return it. If you damaged something that you don’t own, pay to get it fixed or buy a new one. Don’t let cheapness get in the way of doing what you know is right.
Obstacle #3: Fear
Doing the right thing is particularly tough when we fear the potential consequences to our actions.
This could mean the fear of losing your job by refusing to carry out orders from a superior that go against your ethics. It could mean the fear of ridicule from friends by not giving into peer pressure to do something you’re not ok with. It could also mean the fear of ending a relationship you know isn’t right for you, and facing the prospect of starting over and being alone.
Whatever the scenario, it takes real courage to follow your conscious despite the possible consequences involved. That won’t always be easy, but doing the right thing usually isn’t.