Discomfort and Lasting Good

I was resting and watching an old episode of the Walton Family. It was about the mustang horse and how people heard about this last mustang and came and caught it and put it on display beside this store. It upset the grandfather Walton so bad that he was almost in tears and said he would figure out a solution. The next morning, he got up and started making a branding iron. The kids standing around kept saying “but grandpa, you said you would never do that to any of the animals on the mountain. He explained that by doing this which will hurt a little, much good was going to come and the mustang would then be able to run free until he died. And then he said this:

“There are times in life we must go through some discomfort to arrive at lasting good”

From the time we are children…we will have to go through uncomfortable times…through discomfort to arrive at the lasting good. When we as parents have to discipline our children, it is not an easy thing to do but we know we must so that they will develop morals and ethics to last them a life time.When we have to take medicine, it is with discomfort but it is for the lasting goodness of being well. When we have to take jobs that we really do not want but need at the moment…it is a time of discomfort to arrive at the lasting goodness and having money to pay our bills and put food on the table is the that lasting goodness.

Life will always have hard times and painful times and growing times. But, those things, while uncomfortable, are what make us the person we are…that bring us to the everlasting good…that bring us to the honesty and ethics so necessary in a world gone wrong. The uncomfortable decisions may involve family, friends, work, church, doctors….anything that is keeping us from attaining the good in life.

As I was working on this post, I remembered a story my other son told me about my Sweetpea. She was getting ready to go to a party that she had looked forward to all week. They had asked her several times if she had taken something from her mother’s room and she had repeatedly told them no she did not.. While talking to her as she was finishing her hair for the party, she let slip that she had taken the item. Son stood there looking at her a minute and then told her that she had lied to them over and over about this and so now could not go to the party. That was a very hard thing for him to do because he knew how much the party meant, but to him, making her accountable for being dishonest with him was more important than the party. It was a hard decision and one that brought discomfort to him and to her both but it was for the greater good of her life. It was for the lasting good.

Standing up for what is right is not always comfortable but it definitely is for the good in life. Many times you will stand alone and many times you will face the lies and manipulations of those that are affected by you standing up for what is right. But, I can honestly say that the feeling in your heart when you know what you have made your stand is worth it all. Standing up for what is right does not just affect you but those around you. Many people will learn to stand up for what is right just by seeing you stand up for what is right.

“Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

Often, people do not want to go through the hard decisions or the feelings of being uncomfortable in life to do what is right. It is much easier to go along with or to give in and when we do that, people can end up getting hurt in the process. I see parents who give in to the tirades and tantrums of their children because it is easier than standing strong and doing what is right when raising them. Some parents find it easier to try to be the child’s friend and not the child’s parent and do what is right for a child.

Sometimes we do that with friends too. We go along with what they are doing or saying because we do not want any conflict. It is too uncomfortable to say we disagree or that we think what they are doing is wrong. But, if we are really their friend, we will be honest with them and honest with ourselves for it is for the greater good of the friendship and for the greater good of ourselves. If a friend is a real friend, they will appreciate the honesty. If not, then they will move on to people who will not be as honest with them and will tell them only what the person wants to hear because that is more comfortable to them. And obtaining the lasting good is lost.

Be willing to be uncomfortable. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. It may get tough, but it’s a small price to pay for living a dream.

Peter McWilliams

I can tell you that working for our dream of getting here, it was not always easy. We had to make hard decisions that affected our whole lives. The hardest decision we made was the day we signed the papers on the house on the other side of the mountain. The interest rate that we were told is not what was in the papers. Now, we could have just signed and walked out the new homeowners but it was more important that we stand up and say something.  It affected our future and the money we would be paying. Owning the house was important to us at that time but it was more important that the deal be an honest one and that we get what we were told. And so, I questioned them in that deed office about the interest. Even my realtor said nothing. The one doing the signing called the bank and talked to them and they said “well the interest had changed from when we first talked to them”.  Son looked at me with a look that said “what do we do”.  I looked around the table and put our check back in my purse and said “well, then we do not sign” and started to get up. That was the hardest thing to do. But, before I got out of my seat the bank agreed to lower the interest to what they had told us to begin with.

God, make me so uncomfortable that I will do the very thing I fear.

Ruby Dee

I believe fear is a huge obstacle in our lives that holds us back. We fear what others will say or think. We fear the feelings of being uncomfortable in our choices even when it is the right thing to do. And fear stops us dead in our tracks from doing the uncomfortable things that are necessary for growth and for good in our lives. Fear can also make us complacent. We see someone stealing but fear keeps us from standing up and doing what is right for the lasting good of the person stealing and of those being stolen from. We see people hanging around our children but fear that our children will get mad makes us uncomfortable with standing up and saying to our children “you can not hang around those people anymore” and telling them why. Fear makes us complacent when it comes to politics. We do not want to take the time to study and learn about candidates. It is easier and more comfortable to either not vote or to just go vote for anyone. Fear makes us not stand up for ourselves and the discomfort at standing up seems to stop us from saying “I will not tolerate you treating me like this anymore”.

”Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life. What is it you would let go of today?” –Mary Manin Morrissey

Sometimes the discomfort for the greater good means making those around your, especially loved ones, be accountable for themselves. This is hard with children as we tend to want to protect them and make life easier but making it easier is not always the best choice for them to get that lasting good that comes from learning about life.

Just as Grandpa Walton did in the show, doing the thing we swore up and down we would never do is often necessary for the lasting goodness to come. Sometimes it is better to make someone mad or even to cause a little hurt when the good that will come from it is greater than the small amount of pain or suffering the decision causes.

Sometimes that discomfort comes to remind us that we need to stand up and do what is right. You know when you have done something you should not have done and you feel uncomfortable and uneasy about it for a day or two. Well, that is when the choice is still there for you to do what is right. It might feel uncomfortable to make amends or admit that what was done is not right but the lasting good when we do is what is important. If we squash those feelings of discomfort, what we do is deaden our moral compass until one day, we may never feel again that discomfort telling us we need to take action and do what is right. That is the day that we have lost a very important part of ourselves…our honesty and integrity. And we will have no moral compass to guide us for we have killed it.

It is necessary to feel that discomfort, to be reminded to do what is for the lasting good and to retain our ethics and honesty in life. It may hurt a little to stand up and do what is right but if we do not, the hurt will be greater in the long run.