“Shut up and do as you’re told.”
“Be a team player.”
“We don’t pay you to think.”
Bullies are real, they’re often in positions of power, and they can often intimidate you to make some really bad decisions.
Carrying on from a recent post, I think it’s safe to say that doing what’s right isn’t always the most popular choice. Being nice to someone that’s picked on by the popular crowd will likely earn you similar treatment. Standing up for the rules in the face of a boss who has no scruples about cutting corners in order to meet their goals might get you fired. And adamantly trying to prove that you’re right in an argument with your significant other never yields a desirable conclusion—but that’s probably material for another post entirely.
Doing what’s right is too often the way of those who travel the harder road. Our world celebrates certain aspects of society, and due to the masses making them out to be larger than life, we all start chasing after them instead of doing something far more important—maintaining the things that make us good people.
Beauty. Fame. Fortune. Things many of us crave and lust after, but how much better would our lives be if we had them? Beauty fades with time, fame is fickle, and it won’t be the first time I’ve quoted Biggie to say “mo’ money, mo’ problems”. We relentlessly chase after things that are both difficult to grasp and outside of our control. And on the flip side of the recurring lesson that all we can control is ourselves, trying to harness something that we know we cannot is a pretty foolish chase to pursue. We put our focus on things that ultimately carry little value since they often benefit only one person, and their quantity and usefulness also often dwindle away with time.
Integrity. Determination. Morality. Honesty. Courage. Generosity. These are things you can control. You might not see people using these skills to compete for large sums of money on reality TV, placing value upon them will earn one more than any contest!
In a perfect world, the people who do right by others would be the most popular. We would place the attributes that help not only ourselves, but those around us as some of the values that we cherish most as a society, and use those to manage a world giving everyone an equal opportunity to thrive and prosper.
We can’t improve the world without changing our values, and then maybe doing what’s right and what’s popular won’t look so different from one another.
–Casey E. Palmer