And the right thing isn’t necessarily the most popular.
Every day we experience a crossroad. Two choices, one outcome, and countless of questions: Should I do it? Should I not? More often than not it’s our own desires that fuel the logic behind it. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but can it veer us in the wrong direction?
My grandmother always told me to do the right thing rather than what’s popular. As a teenager it’s incredibly hard to differentiate the two. Either one is going to be welcomed with some kind of backlash. But only one will bless you with pride.
Gay culture is beautiful. Everywhere I go men of all ages embrace each other, allowing us all to be ourselves. But when you’re young and new to the world, it can be quite intimidating.
As a gay man in my twenties, doing the right thing requires me to step out of my comfort zone. We’ve gotten so used to going with the flow, saying “yes” to those we deem stronger or better, even dimming or reconfiguring our morals to stay in a safe zone.
At the end of the day all we have to account for is ourselves—not our friends, boyfriends, ex-lovers, even our family. We must take responsibility for what we say and do. While others may inspire our decision to act on impulse, we are the ultimate deciders of it.
No one wants to make someone cry, no one wants to make someone question them self, and no one wants to be a bully. We’re never going to know what goes on behind closed doors, so why not behave in such a way that protects and serves our conscience while also having compassion for the people closest to us.
I’ve been in numerous situations where I could have done the right thing, but didn’t. Instead I gave into peer pressure—selling myself in a way that benefited no one. But when you fail to do the right thing you unconsciously plant a seed of knowledge.
It’s about how you feel afterwards: Will you be able to live with yourself? Will you be able to sleep at night? Will you feel guilty for not listening to your gut?
The beauty of life is that we call the shots. Every word we utter, every move we make, is going to effect tomorrow. But what we realize is that they also affect the world: opportunities, lessons, new friends, promises…
The trail we leave behind dictates the path we’ve yet to even see. Some call it karma, others call it destiny, but no matter what you believe in one thing is for sure: being a good person has more rewards than being popular. That’s always the key.