Courage and Compassion

Doing the right thing isn’t always easy. We should find the courage to do it anyway.

Being a leader isn’t easy. It requires the courage to make decisions often, with imperfect information.  It requires a willingness to be wrong.

How we cope with being wrong is all about character.  Ideally, if we are wrong, we should admit it and fix our mistake and undo any damage we may have inadvertently done wrong.

There is a quote I live by when faced with tough decisions.

“The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.” - Henry David Thoreau

To me this means that it is ok to make mistakes. Do the best you can in the moment. If you find out you made a mistake, fix it.  Do whatever you think, at any time, is right. 

This attitude requires compassion. For yourself. You aren’t perfect. None of us are.  But we can still move forward as best we can. Doing the best we can for ourselves and for others. And this last bit is important too. For others.

How we determine what is right and good matters. For me, as a Humanist, I determine what is right through compassion.  If it helps people it is good. If it hurts people, it is bad. I know of no other metric that makes sense.

The next time you find yourself faced with a difficult decision. Get the best information you can. And focus on making as good a decision as you can – to do the most good you can for yourself AND for others. Then, have the courage to make that decision knowing that if it turns out you were wrong, you can fix your mistake.

Learn more about how to make better decisions with my online course, Planning for Personal Success -

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