When Doing the Right Thing is the Hardest Thing
Why is it that the good and honest thing to do is such a scary task sometimes?
Having a different set of morals from the popular crowd... Standing up to that person who is visibly a bully... Cutting off a friend that we know is not healthy for us... Letting someone (like our own child) fail hard so they figure out how to do things on their own…
These are all really difficult things to do, so we think to ourselves, “Is it really worth potentially damaging my relationships or reputation—just to do what's right? It would certainly be a whole lot easier to do the selfish thing.”
We have all been there.
It hurts to do the right thing sometimes. It’s not entirely our fault, though. Our brains and our bodies are wired to tell us to not slip into behaviors that will hurt us. It’s basic survival mode. So when the right thing feels wrong, we have to turn to greater truths about life to get us through it.
The virtue of Helpfulness can be our guiding light though these situations. Helpfulness is a habit that basically requires us to be as thoughtful as we can before we positively help people and situations, especially when it involves people and situations we care about. This tiny habit can be the difference between making a difference and doing damage.
Here are three ways we can all practice being more thoughtful, or using Helpfulness, when the doing the right thing feels all wrong:
1. Helpfulness uses facts instead of emotions.
When preparing for a hard conversation, try to focus on the facts of the matter instead of our opinion on the matter. When we have the actual conversation, this will prevent the receiver from misinterpreting the message and also feeling like they are under attack. We must not forget to bring along our empathy, though.
2. Helpfulness keeps humility at the front.
It might sting, but that’s how we know we are doing it right. Humility shows other people that our intent with our actions is not to further our own personal greatness. Instead, it shows we care about something much greater than ourselves.
3. Helpfulness has a reward that is abundant.
It can be easy to beat ourselves up after handling these situations, especially when other people get defensive. Just remember that no matter the amount of negativity that comes with it all, the positivity will come two or three-fold. God always follows through on His promise to reward us for our good deeds. Also, we may never know the fruit of the seeds we plant in others' lives when we do the right things.
Friends, next time we are confronted with a hard situation, let's make it a priority to be as thoughtful as we can before taking action to do what we know is right. The more we work on this, we will find ourselves not focusing on the hard parts so much; instead, we will fix our eyes on what really matters: everything that is good, true, and beautiful.
Stephanie is Families of Character's Creative Director and most senior employee! Beyond Stephanie's creative talents, her years of research and dedication at the company have forged Stephanie's foundation as an expert in character development.