The moment arrives and there is a choice. Do the safe thing, the sensible thing or the right thing? They are not always the same choice, and that is where the dilemma arrises. We can all guess at the easy thing, that one is usually very obvious. We can think a moment and understand the sensible choice in the circumstances or situation. Then there is the right thing to do, often the more difficult thing or less self focused thing. The right thing isn’t always easy or popular, however it is ALWAYS the right thing.
I had an employee tell me a horrible thing that happened to her. It involved a male leader in the company and an inappropriate act. She asked me to keep it private. Gulp! I knew the safe choice, keep quiet. I knew the sensible thing was to keep my mouth shut and not get involved. The right thing to do was to tell someone who could do something about it. I slept on it and acted the next day.
I knew I could not remain quiet in case other women were harmed in the future. I called the corporate lawyer and told him my dilemma. I did not give the woman’s name and told him I could not divulge her information. The worst I thought could happen did, this man had done it multiple times before and none of the women wanted to come forward for fear of retaliation, Ugh! The trap in doing the right thing is that not everything always turns out right.
I tell that story to emphasize the fact that the right thing does not always lead to the outcome we prefer, yet it is still the right thing to do. I can rest with a clear conscience even though I was mortified at how the company handled it. I left that company within the year. The woman stayed with the company, earned her MBA using their tuition assistance program and then moved to another company. She still keeps in touch with me and has moved past this horrible situation.
As adults who have lived lives, done things, learned lessons and made mistakes it is our responsibility to teach the next generations. If we do not then when we are old and those generations are leading this country and the world we have no reason to blame them for not doing the right thing. How will they know what the right thing is unless we point it out or ask the difficult questions?
When faced with a choice, there are options. They are not always easy or positive so it is up to us to choose to do the right thing…and helps others to do the same. We can only control our actions and our attitude, the rest is out of our control.