The Right Thing

“Just do the next right thing for the next 15 minutes.” I have this statement written down in the notes section of my phone so that I am constantly reminded. It is so easy to fall prey to selfishness; way harder to choose to do something that does not automatically benefit you or fulfill a need you have. Yesterday after a long day of work, sitting in an hour & a half of traffic, I stopped at Starbucks because my husband had accidentally broken his ceramic mug that morning and was really upset. I grabbed a new mug to surprise him and when I got up to the counter there was a lady rudely speaking to the barista. It was hard to tell by the look on the barista’s face whether she wanted to cry or reach across the counter and smack the woman. I was tired, a little grumpy, and had to urgently use the bathroom after sitting in traffic all that time. But I patiently stood and waited in line because the right thing was to do something nice for my husband who was having a rough day, and the right thing was to smile and ask how the barista was doing when it was my time to pay. Maybe the lady in front of me was having a bad day, maybe she just lost a loved one, or got in a fight with her husband; who knows. Ultimately we all have our own struggles, each and every one of us is fighting our own battles behind closed doors. As a society we are so focused on getting ahead, and being the best at everything that we’ve forgotten the fundamental rule: be nice. The world would be a little brighter if we all remembered this. I get it, sometimes it is so tempting to lay on your horn when that person cuts you off, or hang up the phone on the rude and angry customer, but the satisfaction of retaliation or anger is only so satisfying. When I went the completely opposite direction of my house to find a coffee mug for my husband, it wasn’t necessarily the easiest or self-satisfying choice. It would have been easier to go home, use the bathroom and relax on my couch after a long day, but I knew in my heart that the right thing was to make someone else’s day a little better. “Just do the next right thing for the next 15 minutes”; simple as that.

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