The Family

The Family

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Do The Right Thing

“Happy are those who act with justice and always do right.”
                                                                            -The Divine Hours

I often wonder how my children will understand righteousness in a world where so much is wrong.

I often wonder how I myself can cling to it when it feels like this world takes so much out of me on a daily basis.

Case in point: Yesterday, about 20 of us sat through an active shooter training session to try to prepare us for the unthinkable. I was sick to my stomach the entire time.

Add to that the lies people tell, the things they do that make no sense or are unethical and you've got yourself one stressed out, angry and confused person this evening.

Am I alone in feeling like I am sitting in the seat of the scoffer too often?

I thought us adults were supposed to have it all together, right? At least that's what we think and are lead to believe as children and even later as teenagers.

I certainly am not trying to boast. I am as far from perfect as they come. I know my flaws as well as anyone: too high-strung, judgmental, angers way too easily, can curse like a sailor, worrier - that's just to name a few.

It's just that deep down I delight in doing what is right. I often fall short, but I feel compelled to try to play by the "right" rules.

It’s not always easy. Quite the opposite is true. The older I get, the more I realize that doing the right thing is often the hardest thing to do. 

But there are those who do it.
I recently witnessed an unselfish act, one in which the person benefiting might never realize what was done for him. I feel blessed to call the giver of this gift my friend. She willingly sacrificed something she deserved for his benefit.

I see it in a brother that seeks to care for his sister and who gladly does things all day to try make her happy. I see it in their hugs and how he always takes the hand she reaches out to him.
It was evident last Christmas when a complete stranger showed up at my door with the wallet I didn’t even know I’d lost until that moment.

It was in the words of a guest preacher who spends his life giving to others in need through multiple non-profit and outreach organizations that seek to help men and women with serious addictions.
It was there in an e-mail sent before Christmas from a colleague asking us all to chip in for the three women on the maintenance staff.

It was there in the $600 we collected for them.
That's because sometimes, when we veer from our wants and desires, or give away money we might have intended to use for another purpose, or take time we don’t think we have, or step out of our comfort zone and look foolish in front of others or say what should be said even though our voice and hands are shaky, all in the name of righteousness, it just might make this world a more bearable place.

Cliche I know, but how else do any of us learn to do the right thing? It takes effort, guts, values and a whole lot more.

So on this day when it felt like the wrongs kept piling up, like David I must remember:
"I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."
                                                                          -Psalm 27:13

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