From a story I’m working on:
“In seventh grade, something else happened that was important.
Somehow at that age I had already figured out that even though some things in life were just bad, it was how you responded to them that mattered the most. That was what made people happy or unhappy in the end.
So I made myself a deal: I decided that I didn’t have to always make good decisions—-I didn’t have to always do the right thing—-but I always had do something even more important than doing the right thing.
I would always tell myself the truth.
As long as I knew why I did something, that was more important than anything else, I realized. Then at least I could learn how to avoid the same problem the next time, or, maybe, the time after that.
Or maybe much, much later on, when things were better.
I don’t remember the circumstances that led up to this decision at all. It must have been some painful or poignant moment as so often occurred during that emotional time. But I must have thought about it often enough to remember it for so long.
It was a good decision.
Now, I may not always do the right thing.
But I can never pretend I didn’t know better.
This has been one of my secrets to happiness ever since.”