Doing the Right Thing

Joe - Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Entered on March 31, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: golden rule
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Before you go to the movies, your buddy’s house, or just outside, how many of your parents say something along the lines of, “Do the right thing,” or “Make the right choices”? Although we usually think nothing much of it, do we really know what “Doing the right thing” is and how did we come to know it? Maybe it was our parents? Maybe it’s human instinct? Maybe it’s personal experiences? I know I’ve had quite my share or personal experiences in a right from wrong situation, let me explain just two of them.

I call this first one the stamps I was around 5 at the time. It was a bright morning when my Dad and I went to the bank. I think it was a Saturday (cause we go to the bank on Saturdays for the doughnuts.) I just followed my dad to the teller. From that second I was absolutely amazed by a display of stamps on the counter. It was like it was glowing and everything else was frozen, I just couldn’t look away. I asked my dad and he said no. Of course, I still had to have them, for what I have no idea I’m only 5. I knew stealing was bad but they were really cool toucan stamps so I hid them in the car and my dad found it about 3 minutes later and made me apologize. Although I was terrified do such, I knew it was wrong to steal and right to apologize and now I keep this in mind. If you think about it all parent, human instincts and experience was involved in this. The second took place over the summer. I went to my friend’s house because she was throwing a party. It was fun so I asked my parents if I could spend the night and they said no. Long story short, I went home and then snuck out through the basement. My plan was to just walk back in when they both left for work in the morning, I forgot it was Sunday. I got away with it until my little brother told. To be honest I don’t regret it, it was fun but I got grounded for my first time which wasn’t as fun but now I know what I did was not the smartest or the “right” thing.

These stories bring me to my next topic. When you’re lying on your death bed are you going to feel guilty about something you did or didn’t do? 1 quote which pertains to this is “Guilt is the most painful companion of death.”-Coco Channel. The definition of guilt is “the state of having committed an offense but to me that isn’t enough to truly describe it. What causes guilt? This is truly a mystery due to the fact it is not a given single emotion that is triggered equally from person to person. It’s almost like feeling a smooth pain in you gut when there is truly nothing there in the first place that can cause that. One thing is for sure I know 100% of you have experienced guilt in your life.

In conclusion, I believe in doing what’s right. I believe doing what’s right is a combination of how you were raised from either your parents, friends and anyone else who has influenced you, which leaves these moral footprints in your mind (human instincts). Then you use these morals or instincts in personal situations. Whether you choose to do the right thing is whether you choose to do what you have come to know of what the right thing is. Do the right thing, your all set. Doing what’s wrong results in the guilt, the aftermath. You may learn to do the right thing next time after this personal experience. I’ve come to believe this from seeing and doing what’s right and what’s wrong. I strictly believe what you choose to do makes you who you are so I try to make the right decisions and sometimes I won’t which is fine with me as long as I learn from it. “We have all committed the Golden rule to memory, now lets commit it to life”-Unknown and “do the right thing because it’s right”-Unknown