As I was teaching my ccd class the other day, I happened across a lesson on morality based decision making. I was struck by the fact that this lesson, meant for second graders, was one that many adults could use a refresher course in. It occurred to me that every child is taught at a very young age to recognize the distinction between right and wrong, whether it be by an influential adult in their life, or the tried and true lessons eventually delivered by society. However, as we grow, things become a bit more complicated. Often times we find that making the right choice is not always as easy as it once was. Perhaps in this regard, we could all benefit from a harkening back to our basic morality, when faced with a difficult choice. If you have one that you are wrestling with, try putting these questions to the test. Let your conscience be your guide as you ask:
Is the thing I am choosing to do a “good” or “bad” thing?
If a decision becomes particularly difficult, perhaps it is a good idea to break it down into what might be the “good” action over the “bad” action, from a morality sense. Never base a decision solely on the return. One must also consider the price of purchase, literally and symbolically.
Am I choosing to do it for the right reasons?
Weigh your motives when making a difficult decision. Use the information you garner from a little soul searching to help you determine why each alternative seems attractive to you. Are you acting from a place of virtue? Will your decisions affect others and if so, in what ways?
Am I choosing to do it in the right time and in the right place?
Consider the ramifications of each alternative action. Once again, consult your conscience and try to think like a child, breaking your problem down to its most basic form. Be confident in your own ability to discern what is best for yourself based on your most basic instincts to do right. Remember that if you choose not to do something, it doesn’t mean that you can’t choose to take that opportunity at a later date. If it is an opportunity that will only come once and it is something that you really want to experience, weigh that in to your considerations as well.
Should I Give it to Fate?
When all else fails, and if you consider yourself a person of faith, give the dilemma up to prayer and ask God to help you make the right determination. Remember that if you stick to what you know is right, you rarely can go wrong, no matter what the outcome. But in instances where this is difficult to discern, remember that sometimes what seems like a misstep in the moment, has a funny way of turning into a life lesson that you are better off for having learned in the end. So at times, the best thing to do when faced with a difficult decision or choice, is just let things unfold and give up control, trusting in a greater good.