If you’re like me, you depend upon a global positioning system to help you get around in unfamiliar places. I have one in my car, and another one on my phone. GPS applications have a nifty feature – or an annoying habit, depending on your point of view – of adjusting for driving errors on the fly. While the GPS is making an adjustment, it matter-of-factly intones: “Recalculating.”
Our GPS for life, the one that always helps us find Doing Right, is the moral compass that is deep within us.
We all say we want to do the right thing. And for the most part, we mean it, even when we’re not sure what is right.
Sometimes the choices are clear cut. Other times, there is no one right choice, but many that will get us to our destination. Sometimes, it’s impossible to know whether a choice was right or not until we’re arrived at some distant place in the future when we have the perspective and luxury of looking back on the journey. Sometimes, it’s too late to do anything about that past choice except live with the consequences.
The truth is, no matter how honest and pure our intentions, there will always be times in our lives when we make a wrong turn and fail to arrive at Doing Right. We’re humanly imperfect beings.
Whether accidentally or intentionally, we end up in The Wrong Place.
What matters is not whether we always do right, what matters is what we do next when we haven’t done right.
What strikes me about GPS is that no matter how many times it must recalculate, it does so promptly, efficiently, without blame or finger-pointing. It does not judge. It acknowledges my error and it redirects me so that I get back on course. It forgets the error but remembers the lesson of it so that I can get to my destination.
That’s pretty good advice for our lives when we make a mistake.
- Acknowledge the error, without recrimination
- Make amends
- Move on, but keep the lesson
- Arrive at our destination
Life Is Honest, Open and True: Sometimes it matters less how we get to Right, it matters more that we get there. When you realize you have made a wrong turn, recalculate and keep moving. Your correct destination lies ahead of you.