I remember vividly when I learned this lesson. I was in High School religion class. We just finished watching Gandhi, it was the second time watching the film for me. The teacher asked the class, what lessons did you take from the story of Gandhi. I rarely shared my opinion, but the lesson I learned was so strong my hand shot up. The teacher called on me and I said, “The right thing to do in life is often the hardest”.
My teacher had the most at awe expression that this tiny 14 year could have pulled that from a documentary. But it is true, I witnessed throughout the film people who were standing up for what was right and being brutally scorned and punished for it.
You may ask, how does this apply to right now? Well, think of all the things you need to get done but begrudgingly say, “I really don’t want to deal with this.” Often what we need to do in our own lives every single day are the things we dread. We rather avoid them, yet once we face what we dread we feel better about it or at least have peace of mind.
I recently had to call my building management over the gas leak that occurred in my unit (you can read what happened here). Before calling, I vehemently repeated, “I really don’t want to do this!”. Yet, once I called and wrote an email to recap our conversation, I knew it was the right thing to do. I hate ratting people out and saying, “hey, these people aren’t doing their job, and it’s putting us all in danger”. But guess what, if I don’t do it who will? And what would happen next? Yes, I might suffer the consequences of not everyone will like me in my building, but I rather be safe than sorry.
There have been many other occasions in life, where I rather not face reality. There are really dark serious situations where I would rather hide out for eternity. As a survivor of sexual abuse (full story here), I didn’t want to face the harm and pain inflicted by my abuser. But if I kept the pain inside buried deep, I would have just continued to harm myself with it. I spent several years doing rigorous work and healing, it wasn’t fun nor easy. Yet, today I get to live a full life and a beautiful one because I did the hard work. I did what needed to be done. In the end, it always makes me a better person, helps another person, or grants me a fuller life. That’s why I continue to do the right thing.
Have you ever experienced the right thing to do is often the hardest? Are you facing something you rather run away from? What motivates you to do the hard things in life? Let me know in the comments.