Marcus Aurelius in his superb “Meditations” writes the following:
If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.Marcus Aurelius
At first sight, the quote is just common sense. However, if you take some time to reflect on it, and if you are honest with yourself, you will realize that many times this is extremely hard to do. When face with decisions, we sometimes feel the pressure of family, friends or society to do things that we are not entirely happy doing. Or using the same wording as above, things that we know are not the right thing to do. This common sense is very hard because life is full of situations where we may choose to comply instead of saying ‘no’. Situations where, instead of standing for what we believe, instead standing for our values, we just follow the easy path.
Now, there is no need to be very hard on yourself. At the ed of the day, this behavior is the norm: society always asks to follow the norm, to keep with the flow, to be average, to be mediocre, to follow the herd. And why wouldn’t you do it? Is the easy solution, what you are expected to do. You have been educated to be like this. The message is to be like the rest, to keep things as they are.
After all, what can a single person do? what can a single person change?
It turns out that everything. Individuals have change the course of mankind. For the better and for the worse. Multiple times. Let’s not make the mistake of mixing the fact that one person cannot do all the work (obviously true) with the fact that they can be the seed of change that makes others also follow the change.
And yes, we have been lied to: we have been told that one person cannot make a difference. Worse, that you cannot be the person that makes the change. That is too difficult, that takes too long, that the effort is not worth it. That these things happen to other people.
And you know who says that? This is all told by the people who never attempted to change. The people that are afraid to make things better, to change things. All by people who are hiding laziness. Who don’t want you to success because that means that they could (and still can) have change things for the better, but they were just afraid. When humans avoid doing what is correct, when we avoid doing the hard work, when we take the easy route, we are just hiding laziness.
It does not matter that you cannot control the outcome. It is not important that you cannot plan for the success of the change you want to create. You are here to make the world a better place than when you arrive. And you have exactly one life to do it. Just doing what is correct is a goal by itself. It is the right thing to do. It is the only thing that should have been done.
How are you hiding laziness?