It can be lonely to stand up for what’s right. Quite frankly, it’s hard to remain true to your values when you’re pressured to abandon them, call out bad behavior when everyone looks the other way, and tell the truth when you know you’ll become the object of scorn. You may get bullied, ridiculed, cancelled, and even punished for doing the honorable thing. But you know in your heart that you’re doing what’s right, and no one — and I mean no one — can take that away from you.
Do you speak your mind rather than tell people what they want to hear, expose the truth even if it might upset the applecart, and stand up for what’s right regardless of what it may cost you?
It’s better to stand alone, with honor,
than compromise your values to fit in.
10 Ways to Stand Up for What’s Right
Tell it like it is rather than what folks want to hear. Credible people are open, honest, and forthright. They don’t beat around the bush, spin the truth, or exaggerate claims to make something sound better.
Disclose wrongdoings rather than overlook impropriety. Every time you excuse immorality or fail to speak up about corruption, you’re complicit in dragging us down. As Plato said, “Your silence gives consent.”
Remain true to your values when others lower their standards. People can’t make you do things without your permission. Never lower your personal standards. Never!
Keep hope alive when others lose faith. Stand up to naysayers. Think of all the things that were once considered impossible that are commonplace today.
Do what’s right, regardless of the repercussions. It may be easier to look the other way than reprimand a star performer for unethical behavior. But what message does that send to others? Compromising your principles, even one time, can be a terrible mistake.
Speak up for injustice when others are silent. Before you judge any situation, take the shoe-on-the-other-foot test. Ask yourself whether things are fair and how you’d feel if the situation were reversed.
Discipline bad behavior rather than looking the other way. Some folks turn their backs, fail to speak out, or cover up for unethical behavior because it’s convenient. When bad behavior isn’t challenged, it becomes acceptable to act in an unacceptable way.
Push for change when others are set in their ways. Be a force for change. Don’t get complacent by succumbing to a “we’ve always done it this way” mentality.
Seek the truth rather than follow the crowd. Think for yourself. One or many believers don’t determine the truth or untruth.
Be the bearer of bad news even when your message may be poorly received. Don’t sugarcoat bad news. Tell it like it is, even if it hurts.
What’s Right Is Right
It’s easy to compromise your values, lower your standards, and look the other way, but the penalty of doing so is enormous. As Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Do you live your life with honor and integrity, or do you compromise your principles to attain wealth, power, and status? While that may not matter to you, it should!
If you can’t hear your conscience, turn up the volume.
I’m sure you’re thinking that standing up for what’s right is uncomfortable. In fact, you’re afraid of the repercussions of acting that way. I get it. But what are the consequences of being silent? Actions have consequences. Inaction does, too.
This all comes down to two words — acceptance versus self-worth. Some people are more interested in being accepted and winning the approval of others than doing what’s right. The downside of acting that way is losing respect for yourself.
It takes someone very special to have the courage, strength, and conviction to do what’s right — especially if there are consequences for behaving that way. That’s called moral character. Some people talk a good game while others make honor and integrity the bedrock of their life. Although they may face the wrath of others, I for one applaud them for their honesty, integrity, and strength of moral character. Listen to your conscience. You have to live with yourself for the rest of your life.
Check out Frank’s latest book, The Path to a Meaningful Life.
Do You Stand Up for What’s Right?
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