How to Know What is Right?


Nun making a face

We, humans, often come across various situations when the boundaries between right and wrong get blurred. But first thing’s first: there’s no objective right or wrong. What may be wrong for you may be right for someone else, and vice versa.

An instance: you and your colleague at your workplace get to know through the company’s previous HR manager that all women employees who have the same designations and job responsibilities as their male counterparts are paid 20% less. Now, while you are a strong believer in equality in the workplace and want this issue to be addressed, your colleague prefers to keep out of it as long as she’s getting her salary on time.

So, here, while you would probably want to take some concrete action to remove this disparity, the colleague might have a more passive approach towards this. For her, it may not even be an issue at all; just a deviation.

Though you want to sort this out, you know that if you discuss this with the management, you will destroy the ex-HR manager’s rapport with the management. And this, you feel, is wrong. But you also have a strong urge for the women in your place to be aware of the fact so that they get their due.

Perhaps, you’re facing a conundrum: “Should I do something about it or let it pass and not ruffle any feathers?” The right thing to do would be to analyze what’s more important to you: your principles or your salary.

Understand here that you have no moral high ground if you value the former over the latter. It is just a matter of preference. Simply ask yourself this question: what must you do in this situation so that you may have undisturbed deep sleep every night from now on?

But it’s not always this simple–a clear answer may not pop in your mind right away. In such a case, take the advice of the people you trust and seek guidance from. After this, you’ll be able to clearly weigh out the pros and cons of any action that you will take. 

But ensure that you do not rush into making a decision. After all, it’s your life, and the only person who is answerable to you is you. Also, this process is just one of the sure-shot ways of dealing with a dilemma. But I, for one, can say that it is tried and tested.


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