By: Miss Madeline Bejanian
Featured in Issue #6 of World Success Magazine
While growing up at home and school, it is often that the teachings we inherit within these settings are about “doing the right thing”. “Doing the right thing” is a phrase that is vague and is defined by what a person thinks is right, which is a different definition for everyone. For example, when one sees a penny on the ground, one ought to think that the “right” action to do is to pick it up whereas another person may not think so. There are several choices to choose from when making a decision, and frequently one of those choices are morally right. In other words, one alternative out of the others is more ethically beneficial for the person who is carrying out the action and for those around him/her.
A similar concept that is not conversed about as often is integrity: the act of doing the right action when no one is watching. Integrity is about the willingness to go the extra mile in a situation even if there isn’t anyone around to witness it. This means that a person is not doing a moral action to show others that he/she is an ethical person but genuinely is an ethical person. Integrous people are noble in the way that they aim to demonstrate compassion for others through their actions without others being aware of it. They tend to be thoughtful but not recognized for their thoughtfulness. Therefore, those with integrous mindsets are admirable since they ought to care; they go out of their way to do what is “right” for the sake of their internal well-being and for the external wellness of society.
It’s the little actions that integrous people take on that can count the most for themselves and for others in their environment. When individuals ponder about doing what is right, they tend to imagine major community projects and large donations to charities but these actions don't necessarily need to be done in order for a person to be a contributor in the community. Someone can simply take on minor actions which turn out to be major contributing factors such as picking up a piece of trash, helping the elderly with their groceries, holding a door for a person, and giving another person a right-of-way while driving.
To add on the integrity aspect of these noble actions, let’s imagine that nobody is watching a student on the playground who is eating an orange. After eating the orange, he is left with the orange peels. He has a few options and two of them are: to loiter by dropping the orange peels on the floor or to walk a few paces more and throw the peels in the trash can. The integrous option would be for the student to avoid loitering and to put them in the trash although it involves putting in extra effort. By doing so, the student can both feel internally satisfied while knowing that the small yet contributive action can help his surroundings to remain in a maintained condition.
Yes, “doing the right thing” is often encouraged in several teachings but what is significant is whether individuals in society have the willingness to actually bring it to reality during all times. This means that whether an individual is alone or with other people, whether it is during the day, afternoon, or night it is extremely important that what is morally beneficial for the whole to be done. As more people begin to carry out these habits, the society can be influenced to head closer towards serenity.
-Miss Madeline Bejanian