This I Believe

tyler - sleepy hollow, New York
Entered on June 1, 2007

I believe in doing what is right. People always have a hard time defining what is right. To me, right is following your heart, as simple as that. It means helping other people and not being selfish in one’s dealings with others. It means caring for others and having the empathy to understand them. By doing what is right, people help each other and work together as a community. It raises their esteem and creates a positive self-image, all the while assisting others. There has always been the belief that people’s upbringing and values determine their sense of right and wrong, and that those values are different for everyone. However, the reason people think everyone’s sense of right is different is because so many people do the wrong thing. Unfortunately, that just means that people frequently disregard their morals.

Many times I’ve been in a situation where I had to make a choice about doing the right thing. I can very clearly remember times where I have felt bad for not doing what I know is right, and then made excuses to myself about what I did. I have seen that one person sitting alone and known I should reach out to them, but walked by to sit with my friends. I rationalized to myself that I didn’t know that person and had to talk with my friends about something important. One time a friend of mine was making fun of someone and I stood by and let it happen because I didn’t want to turn on my friend. All throughout the event I knew it was wrong but choose not to act. When I do the right thing I feel very good about myself to know I’ve helped someone. I also take pride in knowing I’m doing what my heart tells me to.

In our heart of hearts we all know what is right. Even though people know what is right, oftentimes they don’t do it. If everyone did what was right by each other there would be no conflicts in our world.