Flannery O’Conner (1925-1964) wrote, “In the first place you can be so absolutely honest and so absolutely wrong at the same time that I think it is better to be a combination of cautious and polite.”
Richard Beck wrote, “What’s the right thing to do? God knows, but we rarely do. We are limited, finite creatures. And yet, we fret, fearing that if we can’t find the right thing to do we’ll end up doing the wrong thing. And that choice–between doing the right thing or the wrong thing–fills us with dread.
So let me make this suggestion. Let’s stop thinking about decisions and choices as being “right” or “wrong.” We just won’t know. Can’t know. So instead of thinking about a choice as right or wrong–instead of moralizing our decisions–let’s ask if a decision is wise. Is this a wise thing to do? I think the wise/foolish frame is better than the moralized right vs. wrong frame.
Rarely will we know, with absolute certainty, what is the right thing to do. But is it within our capacity to make wise rather than foolish decisions. So the next time someone asks, or when you ask yourself, “What’s the right thing to do?” respond with this:
“I don’t know. But what is a wise thing to do?”
“Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.” Jesus