How do we know what is right? What is right to do when faced with a choice or a decision? How do we know? Maybe what is right is different for each of us? Is it possible that what is right is a moving target depending on any number of circumstances and issues? We probably need more of these questions asked and grappled with in our conversations, both private and public. In that way we can listen, disagree, agree, advocate, listen some more, contemplate, and maybe ponder in an effort to get closer to some better idea for ourselves of what is right. Right?
Here’s a question to ask oneself as another way to check what might be right: “Is this the right thing to do and for the right reasons?” Right can mean many things depending who is asking the question and his/her own interests.
Right reasons might speak to one’s principles, so we need principles we follow in order to know what is right, at least right for us at any major choice or decision point in our lives and what is at stake. Principles are rules of conduct or action an individual or group or country might profess to live by. Usually our values or principles, what we hold dear and live by, can be seen in our actions, words and deeds. A principle to live by might be to treat others as you would want to be treated. Then each choice or decision would naturally factor that principle into it. Then we’d be living a congruent (what we said and how we acted were aligned) and principled life.
Certain cultures would make decisions based on what was best for seven future generations. Based on that valued principle of looking after the quality of life for hundred of years ahead it focused decision-making and agreements.
Asking “Is it the right thing to do for the right reasons?”can be a helpful question to ask oneself when confronted with a sticky problem or situation. And maybe it helps simplify what needs doing. Start a conversation. What’s right?