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Do The Absolute Right Thing Anyway

Do the right thing anyway


5 Lists Promoting The Ideal of Doing the Right Thing

“The time is always right to do what is right.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.


1. Kevin’s Short List of 4

  1. Love is a risk, love anyway.
  2. Kindness is a risk, act kindly anyway.
  3. Forgiveness is a risk, forgive anyway.
  4. Compassion is a risk, show compassion anyway.

2. Kevin’s Short List of 9

  1. Do the right thing, and people will accuse you of doing the wrong thing. Do the right thing anyway.
  2. People may never forgive you for helping them. Do the right thing for them anyway.
  3. People will damn you for failing and succeeding. Do the right thing by struggling to succeed anyway.
  4. People will damn you no matter what you do. Do the right thing anyway.
  5. People will do the wrong thing to you. Do the right thing for them anyway.
  6. People will doubt your best dreams. Do the right thing and dream anyway.
  7. People will forget your help and claim they helped themselves. Do the right thing and help them anyway.
  8. People will misunderstand your intentions and motives. Do the right thing anyway.
  9. People will steal your ideas and take credit for your work. Do the right thing and contribute anyway.

3. Kevin’s Long List of 41

  1. Forget all other options, and do the right thing anyway.
  2. Forget getting even ,and do the right thing anyway.
  3. Forget how the weather or your mother acted, and do the right thing anyway.
  4. Forget that no one will ever know, and do the right thing anyway.
  5. Forget that you deserve it, and do the right thing anyway.
  6. Forget their hurt feelings, and do the right thing anyway.
  7. Forget their wrongs, and do the right thing anyway.
  8. Forget what they do or don’t do, and you do the right thing anyway.
  9. Forget what you did or didn’t do and now do the right thing anyway.
  10. Forget your challenges, pressures, and obstacles, and do the right thing anyway.
  11. Forget your conditioning, training, and upbringing, and do the right thing anyway.
  12. Forget your conflicts and do the right thing, anyway.
  13. Forget your desire for sympathy, and do the right thing anyway.
  14. Forget your desire to get rescued, and do the right thing anyway.
  15. Forget your discomforts, and do the right thing anyway.
  16. Forget your excuses, and do the right thing anyway.
  17. Forget your experiences of prejudice, hate, and injustice, and do the right thing anyway.
  18. Forget your habit of emotional blackmail, and do the right thing anyway.
  19. Forget your hate, and do the right thing anyway.
  20. Forget your hurt feelings, and do the right thing anyway.
  21. Forget your identification with the problem, and do the right thing anyway.
  22. Forget your joy in demanding, and do the right thing anyway.
  23. Forget your loss of fame or fortune, and do the right thing anyway.
  24. Forget your loss of friends, and do the right thing anyway.
  25. Forget your loss of popularity or friends, and do the right thing anyway.
  26. Forget your lust for drama, and do the right thing anyway.
  27. Forget your lust for money, and do the right thing anyway.
  28. Forget your lust for pride, and do the right thing anyway.
  29. Forget your need for success, and do the right thing anyway.
  30. Forget your need to please people, and do the right thing anyway.
  31. Forget your rationalizations, and do the right thing anyway.
  32. Forget your reasons to act lazily, and do the right thing anyway.
  33. Forget your revenge, and do the right thing anyway.
  34. Forget your sense of self as the problem, and do the right thing anyway.
  35. Forget your suffering, hurt, pain, abuse, and do the right thing anyway.
  36. Forget your trials, tribulations, and hardships, and do the right thing anyway.
  37. Forget your wanting power over others, and do the right thing anyway.
  38. Forget your wanting to manipulate others, and do the right thing anyway.
  39. Forget your wants, and do the right thing anyway.
  40. Forget your whining, blaming, and damning, and do the right thing anyway.
  41. Forget your wrongs, and do the right thing anyway.

Please note, “forget” in the above list means to: not keep in mind, not dwell on, not think about all day. “Forget” in the above list does not mean to: not remember, never remember, erase from memory, deny consequences, not learn from experience, not acknowledge a danger or hazard, not prefer a healthy environment.


4. An Internet List of 9

  1. People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
  2. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
  3. If you are successful, you will win some false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.
  4. If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
  5. What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight. Build anyway.
  6. If you find serenity and happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway
  7. The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow. Do good anyway.
  8. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
  9. You see in the final analysis; it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

The above list is circulating on the Internet. It is falsely attributed to Mother Teresa, but it is still good. Her official website denies authorship: http://www.motherteresa.org


5. The Paradoxical Commandments


Similar Approach for Ethical Action

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Quotations from Various Sources

Organized Alphabetically

“A kind heart need not fear evil.” —Taoist saying

“All of man’s affairs become diseased when he wishes to cure evils by evils.” —Sophocles, fragment

“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” —Mark Twain

“Bad people take no pleasure in each other unless there is a chance of some benefit.” —Aristotle, Ethics

“Be kind; for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” —Ian MacLaren (falsely attributed to Plato)

“Better not be at all than not be noble.” —Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1809–1892, English poet

“Dhyana is retaining one’s tranquil state of mind in any circumstance, unfavorable as well as favorable, and not being disturbed or frustrated even when adverse conditions present themselves one after another.” —Daisetz T. Suzuki

“Do not look at the faults of others, or what others have done or not done; observe what you yourself have and have not done.” —Dhammapada,4:4

“Do the next right thing.” —Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) saying

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right—for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.” —Eleanor Roosevelt

“Does anyone do wrong: It is to himself that he does the wrong.” —Marcus Aurelius

“Doing the right thing is fun. If nothing else, it surprises people.” —Thomas Sowell

“Don’t concentrate on the wrong things, do only the right things or else your suffering will increase. Those that follow their practice always do what needs to be done, and this will end their suffering.” —Dhammapada: Other Things, verses 292-293

“Don’t see others’ faults, see your own. For if you dwell on others’ faults, your own get stronger.” —Dhammapada: Flaws, verses 252-253

“Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right thing.” —Zig Ziglar

“God me such uses send, not to pick bad from bad, by bad mend.” —William Shakespeare, Othello

“Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.” —W. Clement Stone

“I realized that they had already taken everything from me except my mind and my heart. Those they could not take without my permission. I decided not to give them away. And neither should you.” —Nelson Mandela

“I try to do the right thing at the right time. They may just be little things, but usually, they make the difference between winning and losing.” —Kareem Abdul-Jabar

“If anyone should give you a blow with his hand, with a stick, or with a knife, you should abandon any desires and utter no evil words.” —Majjhima Nikaya, 21:6

“If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.” —Aphorism

“If it is not right, do not do it, if it is not true, do not say it.” —Marcus Aurelius

“If you make vows, stick to them. If it is worth doing, do it properly. A half-hearted renunciant does more harm than good.” —Dhammapada: Hell, verses 312-313

“It is nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.” —John Templeton

“It is preferable to be wronged than to wrong.” —Socrates

“It is virtuous activities that determine our happiness, and the opposite kind that produces the opposite effect.” —Aristotle, Ethics

“Kindness effects more than severity.” —Aesop

“Listen, there is no courage or any extra courage that I know of to find out the right thing to do. Now, it is not only necessary to do the right thing, but to do it in the right way and the only problem you have is what is the right thing to do and what is the right way to do it. That is the problem.” —Dwight David Eisenhower

“Live your life in happiness, even though those around you live their lives in hatred and wish to spread their antipathy to you. Be happiness itself.” —Dhammapada: Happiness, verse 197

“Never stop doing your best just because someone doesn’t give you credit.” —Anonymous

“Next time you’re faced with a choice, do the right thing. It hurts everyone less in the long run.” —Wendelin Van Draanen, Flipped

“Only perform such acts as you will not regret later.” —Pythagoras

“Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.” —Henry Ford

“Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment.” —Lao Tzu

“Strife can only cause more strife. Only an open heart can put an end to strife. This is a Universal Law. Remember the center point during a disagreement and strife will end quickly.” —Dhammapada: The Opposites, verses 5-6

“Success lies in doing not what others consider to be great but what you consider to be right.” —John Gray

“The most important contribution to peace of mind is never to do wrong.” —Seneca

“The sage has no interest of his own, but takes the interests of the people as his own. He is kind to the kind; he is also kind to the unkind: for Virtue is kind. He is faithful to the faithful; he is also faithful to the unfaithful: for Virtue is faithful.” —Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 49

“The smallest act of service is worth more than the grandest intention.” —Oscar Wilde

“The superior man thinks always of virtue, the common man thinks of comfort.” —Confucius

“The time is always right to do what is right.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.

“There is no happiness except that found in right action.” —Dhammapada: Attanagaluvimsa

“Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” —Henry James, 1843-1916, writer

“Treat those who are good with goodness, and also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained.” —Lao Tzu

“Virtue in action is more important than rhetoric or preaching.” —Antisthenes, fragment

“Virtue in itself is not enough; there must also be the power to translate it into action.” —Aristotle, Politics

“Virtue is its own reward.” —Aphorism

“Virtue isn’t not wronging others but not wishing to wrong others.” —Democritus, fragment

“We have to ask what’s the right thing to do, then go do it. Take no thought for the morrow.” —Wendell Berry

“Whatever is the cause of your suffering, do not cause suffering to another.” —Udanavarga

“Wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it. Right is right even if no one is doing it.” —Augustine of Hippo

“You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.” —Marie Curie


Quotations from Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“Do the absolute right thing anyway.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“Do the highest right thing notwithstanding.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“Do the noblest right thing nonetheless.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“Do the regally right thing regardless.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“Do the right thing even if it is judged wrongly because it might be considered wrong by the ignorant.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“Do the supreme right thing in spite of.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“Remember your chance for eternal life and do the right thing.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“Since you must practice right or wrong acting—why not make it right?” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“Since you must practice right or wrong feeling—why not make it right?” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“Since you must practice right or wrong thinking—why not make it right?” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice


Quotations from Scripture

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” —Psalms 23:4

“But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” —Matthew 5:39

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” —Matthew 5:44

“That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” —Matthew 5:45

“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” —Matthew 7:3-5

“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” —Matthew 7:12

“But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,” —Luke 6:27

“And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.” —Luke 6:29

“And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” —Luke 6:31

“But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” —Luke 6:35

“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” —Luke 23:34

“And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” —Acts 7:59-60

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” —I Corinthians 10:13

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;” —Colossians 2:23

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” —Colossians 3:17

“For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.” —I Peter 2:20


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