“It is never wrong to do what is right.”
– South African Born Poet: Gift Gugu Mona
A couple of years ago while my wife and I were enjoying a fall foliage vacation in rural New Hampshire, I found myself somewhat lost, probably due to the majestic grandeur of the White Mountains. I was searching for the mountain village of Carroll and its promise of a hearty meal at the country café.
It wasn’t long until I finally saw a signpost at a crossroads which read 2 miles to Carroll one way and 4 miles to Twin Mountain the opposite direction.
Turning toward Carroll I checked my odometer and soon realized I had driven beyond the 2 miles but still there was no village in sight. Continuing my journey, I noticed an older gentleman tending his garden and decided to stop and ask him if I was on the right road for Carroll.
“Depends which way you go,” the old New England Yankee replied. “If you keeps going the way your car’s heading, you’ll get to Twin Mountain. But if you turn around, and goes back t’other way, you’ll come to Carroll.“
“But,” I protested, “that signpost at the crossroads said Carroll was only 2 miles this way.”
“Maybe so,” grinned the old man, ”but you mustn’t take any notice o’ that old sign. He twirls with the wind, he does — just like some people I know.”
I couldn’t help but smile and think about what that good-natured chap had said and how often people do say one thing and then do the opposite.
We have all had relationships with those individuals who made their decisions by the way the wind was blowing without care or consideration for the best end-result. Some folks seem to fear opposition and allow that fear to drive their decision-making regardless of doing what’s right.
I believe most of the time, we heed the silent sounds of our conscience or our inner voice-call it what you will- which guides us toward the truth and quietly points us to what is the right thing to do. It’s only when we ignore that fundamental sense of right and wrong that we are led into those ethical and moral quagmires that disturb that sense of who we really are and the person who we really want to be.
In his Pulitzer Prize winning book, “Profiles in Courage,” published in 1955, John F. Kennedy wrote: “A man does what he must, in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers, and pressures — and that is the basis of all human morality.”
It just goes without saying, doing what’s right is the only safe road that leads you to where you really want to go — even if it’s just to an old, quaint New England village.