The right thing to do is rarely the easy thing to do.
The older I've gotten, the more I've realized that "easy" is not synonymous with "right." In fact, the "right" thing to do is usually the thing that leads to the most heartache and hardship. Often the easy thing is just closing your eyes, putting your head in the sand, and pretending things are different than they really are. That's easy.
A lot of people are okay with easy. Sometimes, so am I.
Unfortunately, easy makes it hard to look yourself in the mirror. It leaves you with a bad taste on your tongue and it keeps you up at night. It makes you question who you are at your core. If you let bad things happen and don't do anything, you become an integral part of the problem. You become an accomplice.
A few weeks ago, a bully at my company tried to push me around. This individual has treated many people in my small office like garbage - including myself on multiple occasions. Usually I went along with what they said because it was "easy" to just give in. But that day....I didn't. I told them that I wouldn't do their job for them. I was polite, but I made my boundary clear. They yelled at me, swore at me, and stormed off. Again, it would be "easy" to just forget it and chalk it up to their personality. Instead, I took my issue to management. We had a meeting and this bully swore at me in front of the owner of company, told him I was a liar, and basically treated me terribly. The owner of the company did nothing to stop this behavior.
So after the bully left, I gave my 2 weeks.
Was it easy? Hell no.
Was it the right thing to do? Yes.
I told him that people should never be treated like that and that they were not only bullying me but many, many other people in the company. I thanked him for letting me work for him but I told him there was no way I would work in an environment where harassing coworkers was acceptable.
I came into work the next day and the owner of the company sat me down and apologized for what had happened. He asked me to stay and told me things would change. He promised that this bully would never speak to me (or anyone else at the company) like that ever again. After the meeting, I found out that the rest of the company had stood up for me and advocated for me to stay. People in the company that I didn't even have much contact with backed me up. Since this incident, this bully has left me alone almost entirely. I also have a meeting with the owner scheduled to discuss how we can further separate my job from theirs.
All of this goes to say, the "easy" thing would have been to just let the bully walk all over me. I wouldn't have made any waves - I would have flown under the radar. Sure, I would have been treated like shit but so was everyone else. Everything would be shitty but easy.
But the "easy" thing wasn't the right thing to do. The "easy" thing meant I'd have to give up my power and agency. It meant I'd have to give up my self-respect. It meant I'd lose an integral part of myself. I wasn't willing to sacrifice those things for "easy."
This small idea can be expanded to all facets of life.
The right thing to do is not eat animals. Is that always easy? No. Is it right? Yes.
The right thing to do is exercise. Is that always easy? No. Is it right? Yes.
The right thing to do is save money and stop living beyond your means. Is that always easy? No. Is it right? Yes.
The right thing to do is give yourself time for self-care. Is that always easy? No. Is it right? Yes.
The right thing to do is resist capitalism and political control. Is that always easy? No. Is it right? Yes.
The right thing is to stand up for someone who can't advocate for themself. Is that always easy? No. Is it right? Yes.
The right thing is to break up with that great guy because you guys have an incompatibility that you will never be able to work through. Is that always easy? No. Is it right? Yes.
You get my drift.
If you think that everything is in shades of grey and it's hard to know what's right....stop for a minute and just use your intuition. What feels right? You'll know almost immediately. Of course, as soon as you start thinking about the repercussions of your action, you'll want to back down and back out. That's normal. If there are large repercussions for your actions, then think about a way you can get the same results with few consequences. If possible, mitigate the damage this action could do. But if there aren't any other ways...then do the right thing.
And you know what? The funny thing about that situation with the work bully is that....though things were hard, things in the future will be easier because I stood up for what was right. I did the work now so future Cass can reap the benefits. In the long run, things get easier if you just do what's right today.
So, I guess it just comes down to that. Just try to do the right thing. Always.