Do The Right Thing

It’s such a powerful phrase, isn’t it?
Political regimes all over the world have toppled and changed, for that.
Spike Lee’s powder-keg of a movie comes to mind, with that phrase, as well.

But I mean it on a personal, gentler level.
For me, “do the right thing”, is a gentle anchor in my life, which I apply to literally every thing I do. Everything that I consciously do or try to do in life.
For me, “do the right thing”, means “be kind”.

Literally thousands of times a day, that little phrase is behind the split-second decisions I make in my daily life. All the baby choices I make. And all the bigger decisions and choices as well.

“Do the right thing” means being kind to myself and being kind to the other or others who are affected by my actions,

Sometimes it can be a simple thank you to someone for sharing a brief moment in time in my life, when I know I won’t see that person again.

Sometimes it has more global repercussions, when I ask myself if a friendship or relationship in my life is bringing goodness in my life. Or if it’s time to move on.

It can apply to daily life, work, friendships, and every kind of relationship, to the most casual to the most dedicated and committed.

Recently, I found myself explaining the concept of Buddhism, and my interest in Buddhism, to someone who had no knowledge of it. I am by no means an expert on Buddhism, but there is what, in my eyes, Buddhism means to me and why it applies to my life. For me, Buddhism describes a right way to live life. Guidelines that are there so that we treat others as we wish to be treated. To expand on this, as I explained my interest in Buddhism, I believe in the concept of karma and the idea that the energy we put out in this world is what we get back. This is one of the insights discussed & explored in The Celestine Prophecy, a book which has been such a pivotal tool impacting my life.

If people exude a lot of very angry and cynical energy that is what they get back. If you expect to be disappointed by life, you will be. If you expect people to betray you, you will feel betrayed by others.

The opposite is true. If you put forth positive energy in this world, and by positive energy I mean a selfless positive energy (not one motivated by what you can get back), that is exactly what you get back. My life has been filled and blessed with such moments.

So to continue with that thought, I believe in “doing the right thing”, in putting forth positive energy in this world.

I am constantly amazed at how many people cross my life that it’s so obvious, have never known kindness from people in their life or strangers.

I mean a kindness freely given, with no motive behind it. This person always has the same characteristic, a certain deep toughness that is beyond the ordinary savvy, street-smarts we all employ to survive. And what happens when you give that tough guy or tough girl a dose of kindness? They are simply in awe. Sometimes they just don’t get it or understand why you would be kind to them. Ah, to see that look on a person’s face or hear that wonderment in their voice that is a precious gift, my friend.

For me, being kind is a natural way of being. In my daily work, I use my natural empathy countless times in a day, it’s just normal to me. When your work consists of dealing with people in panicky, crisis-driven situations, either your empathy naturally rises…or maybe you should look at doing something else.

What puzzles me sometimes, and even saddens me at times, is when people misinterpret kindness. They treat it like you’re out to get something back from then, or add a layer to it that isn’t there, like prescribing it to the male/female dynamic. If I am being kind to someone, it’s because I am being kind to my fellow human being. And some people don’t understand that. Just like some people don’t understand that you can feel a universal love for your fellow humans on this planet, and it not be a love touched by Mars and Venus.

Sometimes “doing the right thing” means giving someone in your life space and time for themselves.  Sometimes “doing the right thing” means not enabling co-dependant behavior, but showing them the way how they can learn to support themselves.

Sometimes “doing the right thing” means looking deeply and honestly at a friendship or relationship in your life and deciding if it still has value in your life. Sometimes that means gently closing a door in recognition of the need to move on. Kindness has many faces,

This past week, I shared with two good buddies what I call my “litmus test for happiness”. You can apply it to literally anything at all in your life and you’ll get your answer about it. It’s simple. Basically, ask yourself: “does this make me happy?” If the answer contains a few seeds of happiness, then you can sometimes simply rework the relationship so that it works for everyone involved. But sometimes that answer is a resounding “No”. That’s when it’s time to walk away and keep the positive lesson of the experience with you.

“Do the right thing” has shaped my life in all of these ways and more.

For me, it’s a constant reminder to be gentle, to be kind.

Because sometimes you are the only person who has been kind to that other person who’s crossed your path. Imagine that.

Soul food for thought.

Anima Blue 🙂

4 Responses to “Do The Right Thing”

  1. 1 Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz April 20, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Such a simple phrase with such a resounding impact. A great analysis my friend.

  2. 2 animablue May 3, 2010 at 6:56 am

    Thanks, E. 🙂

  1. 1 Tweets that mention Do The Right Thing « Anima Blue’s Oasis 2.0 -- Trackback on April 29, 2010 at 6:50 am

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Video Montage: The Flow
Following the flow of the universe, with a photo montage I created. The song is "Twisted Hair" by Robbie Robertson & The Red Road Ensemble, featuring the sublime operatic voice of Sioux singer Bonnie Jo Hunt, who sings over the sound of crickets.
Also posted on youtube:

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