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Is there a point to doing the right thing?

Jcksjj's picture

Seeing DHs awful family, SD and BM, reading all the stories on here, along with observing some of the big names in our culture makes me wonder. Is there a point to doing good, doing the "right thing" etc? Other than not feeling bad about yourself? I mean, you see all these skids and BMs treating people like crap and the thing that gets me is it WORKS. A lot of the are just as well off, or better off, than the people trying to be kind.

If anyone older and wiser wants to chime in, I'd be interested to hear your perspectives.


Cooooookies's picture

Perhaps it works for awhile but... could you live with yourself?  Treating people like crap for your own gain?  Do you think those types of people are TRULY happy?  No.  If they were happy they wouldn't go around all the time being a nob.

I know it's frustrating. I deal with it myself. Take a step back though.   Really look at the BM's most of us deal with.  They use, fear, manipulation, mind games, conflict.  That is no life and if you think you need to do those things to get what you want?

Keep your chin up.   Don't give up and don't sink to their level.  I promise you it doesn't work and their lives are not happy. 

thinker's picture

Do the right thing!  The alternative doesn't work, even if it appears to in the short term.  The more aquainted you become with toxic people in your life, the more you'll see how self-sabatoging they truly are.  The older I get, the more I know this to be true.  Expect the worst from toxic people after they've shown you who they are,  protect yourself by setting firm boundaries, and do what is right.  If you sink to their level, you'll only give them leverage to create more chaos for you, and you'll end up in darkness every time.  And don't give up on the rest of humanity just because of a few bad apples.  :)  This has been on my mind lately, too.  

ChzyBob20's picture

Don't be kind to bad people. I am a lot older and I've concluded you need to practice self-preservation and only do what is right for you, your kids, your marriage. 

Aniki's picture

For me, it's all about having self-respect. 

Maybe someone is having a bad day and snaps at me. I can make the choice to snap back and compound the issue or not react. So someone is an arsehole. Do I want to be an arsehole, too? No, I do not. I don't want to "lower" myself to that level. I do my best to be a positive and not give into the dark side.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

My misguided belief in doing the supposed Right Thing in step life brought me a lot of pain and suffering. It also deprived the skids and in laws of opportunities to learn, grow, and stop being so damned selfish. All my martyring only enabled bad behavior to continue.

I started making better decisions when I stepped back, stopped letting emotion influence me, and made friends with reality.  Here are a few truths I've learned:

  • What Is, is.
  • Modeling good behavior for a$$holes is a waste.
  • Takers take.
  • Haters hate.
  • Other people's dysfunction doesn't have to become my dysfunction.
  • Ignoring facts does not change facts.

I'm still a good, kind, give-you-the-shirt-off-my-back person. I'm just choosier about the company I keep.

OKtoStep's picture

Even reading those words makes me nauseous and anxious. "We have to do the right thing and model a good family for them." "We have to do the right thing and not fight with BM over little stuff." "You just have to do the right thing and be the adult." 
"The right thing" is just code for setting aside your own sense of self worth to let BM & skids walk all over you.

OKtoStep's picture

You are absolutely spot on.

Iamwoman's picture

I've often wondered this too Jcksjj!

In fact, in the past, it has made me downright depressed to see terrible people reap success and riches.

The conclusion I came to is this though:

1. I have a clear conscience

2. Bad people may temporarily profit or may seem to lead luxuriant lives, but do you ever hear from them when their chips have fallen or when they are depressed? No. Because it's all a show. Bad people are usually sociopaths or narcissistic, and it's well known that those types of people are incapable of being truly happy. They think "happiness" is taking away other people's happiness... so the best way to beat them is to never let them see you sad.

3. I believe in heaven and hell. But for the sake of this discussion, let's assume most people do not (which seems a valid assumption given the number of downright a-holes in the world these days). If you  don't believe in an afterlife, and you choose to be a good person anyway, then you die, and you find out there IS an afterlife after all, you will be glad you chose goodness over evil. However, if you don't believe in an afterlife, and you choose to be evil, then you die, and you find out there IS an afterlife after all, you are screwed for eternity. Eternity is a long time - unfathomably long - so anyone smart enough to understand statistics or even gambling (still statistics) would place their bets on an afterlife each and every time.

4. If YOU notice that someone is bad or evil, then you can guarantee that other people notice as well. Evil people turn themselves into targets. I have no qualms "taking down" or meting justice upon a known evil person. I'm sure others don't as well. I defend and uphold good people and am not afraid to put evil in its place. Notice how the world was sad when Mother Theresa died? Nobody cried when Hitler died though... at least nobody anybody cares about.

5. Someone that you consider a bad person, may not actually be a bad person! Think about how many people have ever thought poorly of you or thought you were being malicious, when you were not. Many people project their feelings into others and perceive things that aren't real. If you are depressed, then someone who is super happy, skipping around and whistling may annoy you. You may even think that person is purposely trying to annoy you, or trying to "rub it in your face" that they are happy and you are not... when in fact they are just happy. Period. I once had a friend invite me to her vacation home in Costa Rica. She wanted to run around and stay busy the entire time, and it was making me exhausted and not enjoying myself. One day I told her I'd like to just hang out at her home and enjoy the ocean view - I was on vacation and she had a beautiful home. She got mad at me and accused me of not being a good friend and not appreciating her efforts to "make things fun." Additionally, her husband was being abusive to her and she asked my advice, and I told her to leave him because abuse is a deal breaker. We got into a huge fight and at the end of the vacation, I was glad to GTFO, and she was glad to see me gone. I thought she was being horrible to me: I was in an unfamiliar country, and being treated like crap by someone who was supposedly a friend. She thought I was being horrible: She felt as if I were not grateful enough for staying in her Costa Rican home. I sent her photos from the trip, but she refused to send me the photos I really wanted form her phone of me! This entire thing ended our friendship. For years, I thought she was a terrible person. Upon reflection though, I've forgiven her and realized that I don't have the right to label her as "terrible," because her behavior may have simply been out of embarrassment for her domestic abuse that I witnessed, and she may have mistook my laid back, low-key desire for relaxation as an in-your-face rejection of her plans. Maybe she is a bad person and maybe the excuses I've made for her are valid. Either way, I don't have to be friends with her, and as "not a friend," it's no longer my place to judge her character.

So yes, it can be frustrating watching bad people get good things.

But it may be temporary, it may be fake, the person may not be as bad as you perceive, and if they are truly bad, you can be guaranteed that they are a truly miserable person.

Evil3's picture

Here is why these people's shit works for them.

It isin't because people don't see it. It's the path of least resistence. I didn't used to believe in karma because I had seen for years how people got off Scott free, but over the last few years, I've been seeing that people really do eventually get what's coming to them.

Also, if you truly have integrity, you wouldn't want to do those things. Narcissists and other abusive types are not worth changing who you are. People with a conscience wouldn't want to resort to the tactics of abusers.

Jcksjj's picture

This video is interesting because DH and I have had conversations before about how both of our exes have absolutely no shame and we would be embarrassed to pull the crap they do