the right and the easy

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?”

It is easy


This is a photo of a simple ‘car’ made by a child at a local primary school.  The competition was to make a ‘car’ which would travel the fastest.  Most children came up with big things, made with big wheels and bits of wood and metal (obviously helped by their parents).  Of all the entries, this simple thing made of two wheels and a soda can won the competition.

Looking at this, I had to laugh.  It was lesson to me about how we over-complicate things, how we add stuff that we don’t need, how we get so much into competing that we forget to enjoy ourselves and that the simplest things are always the easiest.  Like water that travels down to form a great river, taking the easy course, running over obstacles- life is about about being ‘easy’.

Of course, the simple and the easy require a lot of thoughtfulness, fun and the absence of the ego.  This child probably spend a lot more time thinking than doing, a lot more time being than making and having a laugh!

It also reminded me of the mental chatter than runs in my head all the time- ‘It is going to be hard, people are going to hate me, it is going to fail, etc’.  The winning child probably did not have this mental block holding him back.  This photo will always remind me of taking it easy and thinking it is easy, then it will be!  If you have not heard this TED talk by Jon Jandai, then it is worth listening to-

Have fun today!