Sometimes when people do bad things, alarm bells go off. Other times the act flies under the radar — because the only person who knows about the deed is the person committing it. They oftentimes dismiss the incident as unimportant because they didn’t get caught — and think that makes it acceptable. That line of reasoning assumes that the perception of others is more important than your own. That said, the next time you consider doing something that you know is improper, consider this: Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
When you do something bad there’s always one person who will know — you.
How Much Do You Value Your Self-Worth?
Most people know the difference between right and wrong, but that doesn’t stop them from crossing the line.
- Goof off at home when you know you should be working?
- Cut corners — hoping that others can’t tell?
- Slack off instead of doing your best?
- Steal the credit for something you don’t deserve?
- Make false claims to get a sale?
- Charge more money when a customer’s back is up against the wall?
- Overlook bad behavior because it’s in your best interest to do so?
- Omit important details to make your statement sound more compelling?
There are many reasons why people choose this wayward path. First, some people rationalize that everybody does it, and that must make it right. Others justify their behavior by promising it’s just one time — until it’s not. And of course, some people are so obsessed with winning that they think the end justifies the means. (Shame on them.)
Winning Without Honor Is Worse Than a Loss
It comes down to this: Do you do things because it’s in your best interest, because it looks good, or because it’s right? Consider the following:
- Can you be bought?
- Would you compromise your principles to get what you want?
- How much does doing what’s right factor into your decision-making process?
- Do you generally do what’s right or what’s convenient?
- Do you do the right thing because it’s virtuous or because you’re afraid of getting caught?
- Do you care more about winning the admiration of others or your self-respect?
- Do you demand more from yourself than you do from others?
- Do you care as much about how you accomplish your goal as to whether you attain it?
- Is it important for you to do what’s right — even if that means losing?
- Is it acceptable to do something wrong if you’re following orders?
- Do you follow the letter as well as the spirit of the law?
- Do you do what’s right because it looks good or because it is good?
- Do you need rules to keep you honest or does your conscience suffice?
You shouldn’t need rules to tell you what to do…that’s why you have a conscience.
Sometimes it blows my mind to see how people behave. It’s like they have no scruples whatsoever. The truth is that I feel sorry for them. They must be pretty desperate to act that way. Or they’ve behaved dishonorably so many times, they don’t even recognize how far they’ve strayed from the right path.
They’ve graduated from being a little sketchy to being truly shameful because they’ve never faced consequences for their actions. Lying, cheating, and stealing are no longer things they do — it’s who they are.
People who get away with bad behavior often think they can do it again — with impunity. I can say it’ll eventually catch up with you, but that’s not the point.
How much is your self-respect worth to you? I hope you said a lot. After all, you have to live with yourself for the rest of your life. The truth of the matter is, if you don’t respect yourself, why should others? You can’t put a price tag on self-respect. It comes from living a life that makes you proud.
Nobody can take away your self-respect except you.
Every time that you’re faced with the option of choosing between right and wrong, there should be a voice in your head whispering, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”
You get to choose how to live your life. You can live with honor and integrity or sell your soul to the highest bidder. It’s one thing to know the difference between right and wrong and quite another to live your life that way. People with strong moral character set high standards, are true to their beliefs, and know that real success must be achieved the right way. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
Check out Frank’s latest book, The Path to a Meaningful Life.
Thoughts? Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should
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Would You Do Something Unethical If You Could Get Away with It?
Moral Character Matters
Do You Listen to Your Conscience?
Why Self-Discipline Should Matter to You
Do You Rise to The Occasion?
Are You Blurring the Line Between Right and Wrong?
Knowing Isn’t Doing
Will You Choose the Right Path?
What If Everyone Did the Bare Minimum?