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Doing the Right Thing — Is This Really Difficult?

Since we were children, we’ve been told time and again about the difference between right and wrong. From early on, we are (hopefully) taught that lying isn’t good, being nice to others is, and some things are just too hot to touch. I’m sure we’ve all learned the last one the hard way. It was a pretty black and white life. But, what happened as we got older? Where did all the confusion and line blurring come from, and why do so many moral dilemmas happen

To say our world is a little confused on right vs. wrong is a bit of an understatement. Take the current Toronto Mayor Ford fiasco. Really – is there any question of what the right thing to do is? Come on Mr. Ford, as a person of public prominence, you should be respecting the position you are in – not just now in apologies, but since you were elected. Leaders do not behave the way you have. And yes, it is true that when we screw up, we usually have to pay the price of acknowledging our error and accepting the consequence. This is part of what living in a civilized world means – accepting responsibility for when you’ve chosen the wrong path. In Mayor Ford’s case, what is the best consequence? Simple, disappear from the frenzy and get your life back on a respectable path.

Let me take a moment: We all make mistakes, myself included. In fact, we are human and to err is human. I get it. Making mistakes is never the problem. The problem comes into play when what you’re doing to resolve the problem is wrong. In other words, ignoring the mistakes you made and placing blame on external circumstances. Doing what is RIGHT, doing what leaders should do, is accept true accountability for your actions, and responsibility for your solution in making a situation right.

At the end of the day, we all should start by living with control and guidance of our actions, and refocus our actions on what we are trying to achieve with the same rules you were raised by.

Right Vs. Wrong: Your Easy Guidelines

Whether the Mayor of a major city, an entrepreneur growing their business, or a child growing up in this world, there a few key guidelines that we can all remember when faced with a difficult decision:

  1. Treat others the way you would like to be treated (TheGolden Rule)
  2. To err is to be human. To forgive is divine
  3. Don’t lie
  4. Eat your vegetables
  5. Be a role model; you never know who is learning from you
  6. Admit when you’re wrong; it will save you time, effort, respect…and dignity
  7. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you
  8. There is no room for ego when it comes to right and wrong
  9. Say thank you and acknowledge those who helped along the way
  10. Learn from the mistakes you do make

If children can easily know the difference between right or wrong, why can’t we? Let’s start....

"What you think is right isn’t the same as knowing what is right."

— E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly

© 2013-2014 R. Todd Millar. All rights reserved.

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