Doing the "right thing"

Clyde is a single father of two. When his wife died of diabetes last year, he vowed to take better care of the family's health by doing three new things on a regular basis: exercising, eating more fruits and vegetables, and never getting fast food ever again. Tonight, with only $20 to spend on dinner, he will make them mashed potatoes, grilled chicken, and steamed broccoli florets. Even though he wants to buy everything organic, he simply can't afford to do so right now, so he's doing the best he can to avoid processed foods, soda, and everything that has high fructose corn syrup in it. 

A woman named Laura is standing behind Clyde at the grocery store. Her life is completely different than his, so her shopping cart is filled with organic and seasonal produce that she can easily afford to buy without hesitation. Although she’s a strict vegetarian herself, and a big supporter of local farmers, she can't really be upset with Clyde for buying non-organic food or for eating meat. Organic is better than conventional, that’s true, but conventional is certainly better than fast food. According to his time, place and circumstance, Clyde is actually doing the right thing. In-fact, they both are. 

Never judge anyone for the choices that they make, and always remember that the opposite of what you know is also true. Other people's perspective on reality is as valid as your own, so no matter how certain you are that you're doing the "right thing", you must humbly accept the possibility that someone who does the exact opposite from you might actually be doing the “right thing” as well. 

Everything is subject to time, place and circumstance. There are no “shoulds” in compassionate thinking!