“Do the right thing…”
People often say this in life and recently I have been noticing that “the right thing” is not always what everyone else thinks. Sometimes there is the right thing for you and there is the right thing the rest of the world wants you to do. I usually think I should do the right thing for the world and then I am miserable when I do it. It sometimes involves going to an event I really don’t want to go to or having a conversation with someone who is really not a supportive friend. Sometimes it means saying you will do something you really don’t want to do.
I think in today’s world it is almost more Buddhist not to do the right thing in terms of the world, to not always turn the other cheek, to not always say what you are supposed to say, and to basically live a genuine life where you do no harm to others and you do no harm to yourself.
I am pretty good at pretending I like someone whom I really do not feel comfortable with and I am also pretty good at being polite which are useful skills in life. I don’t plan on forgetting these skills but I do plan on taking care of myself more often.
Why am I writing this? I am writing this because recently I have been called upon to attend events which would be painful for me to attend for reasons which I won’t go into here. I thought a lot about whether or not I had to go to these events. Most of my friends told me to just “act like a lady” and”say hello to everyone” and then I could leave. I thought about how that would make me feel and it wasn’t good. I wondered who it would be good for. Would it make all the other guests happy to see me playing a role and acting as if it didn’t matter to me? Would it make me a better person for subjecting myself to pain when I could easily avoid it? Would I win an academy award just like Sandra Bullock only to find betrayal days later?
My answer is no today and will probably stay that way. The sun is out in California and the garden is rich in scent and flavor. Rosie and I will go for a walk and remember what it was like when she could hunt rabbits in the back 40.
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