I’m not a religious person.

I AM a spiritual person. I’ve read many key religious books over the years. These books cover a great number of various religions including Christianity, Budism, Taoism, Islam, Hinduism…

They are all amazing and not that different from each other. One thing that seems to be the most common thread is the simple idea of doing the right thing. Thank you Spike Lee for your version as well.

These words, in essence, are the words I live by. I’ve expanded the idea by adding “…even if it hurts.”

Do the right thing, even if it hurts.

I’m going to share a story of a time, shortly after I discovered this path for myself that I didn’t follow this. A time when I was a coward.

I had a half-dalmatianĀ half-beagle named Ringo. He didn’t look like a certain Beatle, but he had a black ring around his tail. The rescue where we got him gave him the name. He was my dog since I was in college and he was a puppy. We went everywhere together. I truly loved him.

In his later years he began to slow down and started to show some symptoms that really worried me. Turns out he was sick and the prognosis wasn’t good. He was in pain and it wasn’t curable. We made the decision to have him put to sleep. It broke my heart. Having to explain it to my three young kids was even more difficult.

The day came. The wife was at work and the kids were in school. All had said their good-byes in the morning. I drove him to the vet and this is where I failed. I failed as a dog owner and I failed as a friend. I had never done this before and didn’t know what to expect.

The vet explained the process. Then she asked me if I wanted to leave him there to be put to sleep or if I wanted to be there with him when it was done. I was about to break down and I chose not to see it happen. I didn’t think I could keep it together. I was a coward. I did NOT do the right thing, because it hurt. It was one of the worst decisions I’ve ever made. I let me good and completely loyal friend down in the worst way… and I could never change it.

While this was a complete failure for me, I did learn from this. I’m a better man now than I was then because I’ve learned from the continued pain that came with this

So, in the decisions you make every day. Decide if you are doing the right thing. Everyone’s “right” will vary depending on their own moral compass. Remember that some decisions will have long-lasting memories that will remind you of how amazing you are… or aren’t… or at least weren’t.