I’ve written about my Aunt Doreen before. Her and her husband Bill took me into their family and made me part of it for 5 years and their values are fundamental to the way I am and the way I behave a whole lifetime later. Doreen, especially, had a number of homilies which she would use and these remain with me to this day. “Please and thank you” don’t cost anything. Neither does “a smile”. However the one that is carved into my heart is “Do what you believe to be the right thing and you’ll get your rewards”. This last one patently not so, except how Doreen, in her usual slightly obscure way, meant it. The reward, you see, may not be financial but it certainly will be in the satisfaction that you get in what you do and, as importantly, the way that you do it. Now I’m not saying that I always do the right thing, however, like most people, I do try. Or, at least, I have tried since that day 42 years ago when I found myself on “The Other Side of the Doors” from the life I used to lead. https://mikedaligan.com/books/the-other-side-of-the-doors/
Perhaps that’s why I was so at odds with life in the army where you were expected to obey orders, without question. Although you could always complain afterwards; when it may well have been too late. Maybe it’s also what sustains me when I survey the society that we live in today in this country and find myself at odds with that too; even more so. Indeed, the situation makes me determined to continue, in my own small way, doing what I feel to be right. I think it’s what most people do when push comes to shove.
So, whenever you have a choice in life, don’t just consider the outcome; the means don’t necessarily justify the ends. After all, if you are nothing else, you are, at least, a role model for your children and what they get from you, often many years after you’re no longer around, will inform their own behaviour. Just as my Aunt Doreen and Uncle Bill did for me. So, it’s not only the “sins of the fathers” (for which read “parents”) that pass on but many other things to. So try to make sure that what you leave behind is positive. By such small acts is the world made a better place.