A Life of Doing: Do the Right Thing

Men, don’t be turned off by the Company Girl Coffee logo. This post is for you, too.

I just love the internet, and I’ll bet you do, too.  Where else can you toss out a word or two and find a quote you’ve been looking for for days?

Last week I wanted to join in the Company Girl Coffee discussion, but I was looking for a particular quote to go with what I wanted to write and couldn’t find it.

You see, last week the mother of my best friend died and I traveled 400 miles or so to attend the funeral.  Mind you, I wasn’t sure about going at first.  All those nagging thoughts to justify staying home entered my mind:  J will understand if I’m not there.  After all, we’ve been friends for over 25 years (wow, can it really be that long?) and she knows that I would be there if I could; With gas prices this high, it will cost a small fortune to travel back home for just a few days; This is crisis time at work (when isn’t it?) and I really need to be at work; No one would expect me to drive 400 miles for a funeral; There will be lots of friends and family there, she won’t even miss me; and on and on.

But an item that I had read, I was sure in Reader’s Digest, kept running through my mind: when you have the chance to do the right thing, err on the side of doing right.

In the end, traveling many miles on short notice to attend the funeral of my best friend’s mother was the right thing to do.

I knew I wouldn’t have much time to spend with J, but that wasn’t the issue.  What I needed to do was to be there just so she would know that I cared about what she was going through — it was the right thing to do.

As it turns out, I had radically paraphrased the quote, but I remembered something about taking something to a neighbor.  After I looked through every printed issue of Reader’s Digest that I could find, I went to their web site and entered in a few different words that I thought were part of the quote, and lo and behold, after a few different words has been tested, up popped the article that I had read.

In a column by Jean Laskas in the May 2007 issue of Reader’s Digest, she was talking about making a decision to try out for the girl’s basketball team in high school.  That’s when she got this bit of advice from her mom:

… When in doubt, do the positive. Can’t decide whether you should get all dressed up and go to that party? Don’t know if you should “intrude” on a new neighbor with a homemade welcome cake? Worried that an old lady would find you rude for offering to help her with her grocery bags? Do the positive! Go to the party, bake the cake, help the old lady. A life of doing is better than one of regretting what you didn’t dare to do.

What can you do today that will be positive, that will be the right thing to do, that will keep you from regretting that you didn’t do it?

Maybe you need to apologize to a friend or to your mate.  Maybe your husband wants you to go along with him to run errands when you would rather stay home and read a magazine or spend time alone.  Maybe your wife has been asking you to go with her to visit her dad in the nursing home.  Maybe the neighbor needs help cleaning out the gutters or raking leaves. Maybe a friend just needs someone to talk to over a cup of coffee.

There are hundreds of things we can do for other people that will turn out to be the right thing to do.  Choose one and do it today.

Yours for the celebration of marriage,


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5 thoughts on “A Life of Doing: Do the Right Thing

  1. What a wonderful thought. My mom is always telling me that when my husband wants me to go with him to do something, even if I don’t want to, that I should go. Just to be with him.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    My prayers go out to your friend.

  2. Just had to comment because I really like that quote. I know I tend to make excuses/justify when I’m unsure about whether or not to step in or do something. This was encouraging to me….thanks for sharing!

  3. What a wonderful quote. You are so right….I always regret when I DON’T do something, and almost NEVER regret doing the positive thing, the right thing. When life gets so busy, it’s really easy to justify not taking time to show care or concern, but it does mean so much. I’m trying to do better, and I appreciate your great reminder of how important it is.

  4. {A life of doing, is better than one of regretting what you didn’t dare to do.. }

    This is great I enjoyed it very much. Thank you for the positive words.
    This year I lived some what those words about.

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