This week I attended a conference on healthcare and was struck by the phrase- ‘doing what is easy vs doing what is right’. The speaker was talking about healthcare and said, ‘Would you call 999, the emergency number, because it is easy or would you go and see the doctor for non urgent things because that is the right thing to do?’ I started thinking about this sort of thing might apply to other areas of our lives, especially moral dilemmas. But people, when faced with moral dilemmas, usually do what is easy, not necessarily what’s right. In the heat of the moment, it is easy to do something quickly rather than take time to reflect on what the best action might be.
This sort of dilemma also applies to many life situations, including work. For instance, you see a leaking tap in the office toilet and decide the easy thing is to ignore it since it is the maintenance people who deal with this. But is it the right decision? Should you go and report this yourself and save precious water and energy? Now I try to apply this question to every situation that puzzles me. But remember, men and women have different moral values and research reveals that women are not more ethical than men. We are all different- there is no ethical codes to follow, apart from what we decide to do. Each person has to make their own ethical and personal decision. This is the bit where the ‘easy and the right’ question come in. So next time you are faced with a situation that bothers you for which you are responsible, ask- “Is this the right thing to do?”