Doing the right thing…is always the right thing!
Something happened to me recently that really cemented a concept I’ve pondered on a lot over the last few years.
We all have consciences. Some are formed differently than others, and we all have a unique set of moral-codes and boundaries. However, some things are black and white, some things are wrong, and some things are right. Things like lying, cheating, scamming and causing unnecessary pain…are bad. I don’t care how you justify it…they’re all wrong full stop.
Some people might say ‘oh but what if you’re lying to spare someone’s feelings’ or ‘what if they never find out, who cares’…NO NO NO. You can withhold information to protect someone’s feelings, but you cannot lie…there is a difference. Deep down, everyone knows about these black and white scenarios. Some people try to trick their conscience to the point where it’s confused and convinces them that a wrong is justifiable.
Let me tell you a secret…it ALWAYS catches up with you. Whether now or later, whether in this life or in the next…you cannot avoid the karma you deserve. You can take all the drugs your body can handle, drink all the alcohol you can afford, watch every Netflix show…it won’t go away! The niggling conscience that keeps you up at night and feeds you random thoughts throughout the day…yeah you know the ones I’m talking about. Right now, as you’re reading this, a few things have already popped into your head. I have them too…they’re called regrets.
It’s not unhealthy to have regrets, its normal. Regretting something doesn’t mean you hate yourself for it or cry about it. It means you are a human being who is aware of your faults. If you had the chance to do that part over again, you would do it differently. I dislike it when people say things like, ‘I have no regrets’, ‘you can’t live your life with regrets’. I’m sorry but I don’t believe you. Are you a human being with a beating heart and a brain? Yes…well you’ve made mistakes just like the rest of us, and that’s ok.
The reason I’m bringing this up is because I have a specific story to share where I got a clear sign that I did the right thing, and was rewarded for it. Sometimes we do good things and never know if that deed was ‘banked’ in our ‘karma bank’. Of course, we should do them regardless of reward, but hey…it’s nice to get a clear sign once in a while. :-)
I’m currently road tripping USA and I sleep in my car so if it breaks down, that’s the end of my trip. It had been playing up for a few days. I’d taken it to 2 small-town mechanics who couldn’t figure it out so I drove 2 hours out of my way to go to a KIA dealership to get a diagnosis. They told me the engine was finished and there was no point fixing it.
That was a clear sign for me. and I didn’t question it. I started giving things away, looking at flight options, packing my bags and day-dreaming about seeing my family who I dearly miss. I already had tickets booked for the Grand Canyon and other tours, the thought of missing that was disappointing.
I decided to try and sell the car to one of those second-hand car sales places. The first one didn’t want it, but the second one offered me $2000 USD for it. If the engine needed replacing, $2000 was far too much. I really struggled internally because the idea of going home with cash in my hand was a comforting feeling, but I had to tell the truth…so I did.
She thanked me for my honesty and made an appointment for their mechanic to look at my car in the morning. I nearly booked my flight home that night, but my Mum pushed me to wait and see what the next mechanic said. I was hesitant to wait, but I took her advice. Yes, I know, Mum’s are always right :-)
This mechanic told me the car was fine! The radiator needs replacing soon but otherwise it’s completely fine to keep driving, I just need to keep the water filled.
It didn’t all hit me at once but over the next 24 hours, I pondered over the series of events. I realised if I had not told her what I thought was true about the car engine, she would have given me $2000 and I would have been on a flight back home. I would have carried around the guilt for the rest of my life. It would have really bothered me for a month or so, and then the guilt would dissipate over time but it would always be there to niggle me for the rest of my life. As I said, the guilt never completely disappears, it just appears less often.
Not only would I have the guilt for lying about the car, but I’d have the regret of not being able to finish my adventure. On top of all that, I never would have found out that the car was actually fine and was worth the money they offered me. I would have carried the guilt around for NOTHING!
Sometimes doing the right thing is really hard, I know! Sometimes we never get rewarded in an obvious way, sometimes it feels like we are losing because we told the truth. Sometimes are truths hurt us, or people we love. Sometimes the lessons aren’t obvious, and we wonder why we bother trying to be a ‘good person’.
I know…I feel all these feelings too and trust me, I definitely do not always do the right thing. The key is to at least try to be a better person, even if it’s small steps at a time. Going 2 steps forward and 1 step back is better than not moving at all. It’s really that simple.
When you’re feel like your good deeds aren’t getting you anywhere, I assure you they are! I’m no guru but it’s just common sense. You’re the only person in your head, you’re the only one responsible for your actions and you will have a more fulfilling life if you simply choose to do the right thing no matter what.
Sleeping at night is a lot easier with a clear conscience.
‘YOU CAN NEVER BE TRULY HAPPY UNTIL YOUR CONSCIENCE IS CLEAR’
You can’t erase mistakes, but you can make amends for them and that’s clearing your conscience. I still have a lot of clearing to do myself…one thing at a time and we’ll get there.