A few moments ago, during one of our late night walks, my wife and I saw a deer get demolished by a car. The lady had no chance to stop; the deer sprinted at full speed in front of the vehicle.
The disgusting-sounding thud of meat on bumper and deer struggling with 4 broken legs, flopping around on the side of the road, sickened me. The lady who hit the deer felt bad and me and my wife felt horrible. But since the woman – aka kid, basically – called her mom and not the police, I told my wife that we needed to jog back home fast to call the cops.
Doing the right, moral, ethical, humane thing now gives you clarity and greater peace of mind, even if it's a tough decision to make.
Doing the Right Thing
I knew the cops would put it out of its misery ultimately, euthanizing an animal with 4 broken legs and likely massive internal injuries. The operator noted the police would “do what they had to do”. Big time relief for me.
But making the decision to walk away felt heart-wrenching because one part of me and my wife wanted to comfort the deer or do anything we could to lessen his suffering in the moment. Since I did not have a rifle or shovel handy, I knew we had to rush home, call the authorities and allow them to shoot the deer.
One glimmer of hope suggested he could walk off with a limp but seeing him completely crippled instantly alerted me; the right thing to do right then was to call the police to end the deer's suffering.
Instantly, even though I still felt bad to see a sentient being in agony, I did feel some peace of mind in helping out an animal the best way that I could, given the circumstances.
Think and Act Ethically
You and I find ample opportunities daily to think and act ethically. We can always do the right thing now but sometimes feel tempted to stray toward less ethical, moral paths, comfortable paths. Doing the wrong thing brings temporary benefits perhaps along with no peace of mind, no calming influence and blanket anxiety over the long term.
Imagine if I stood there for 10 minutes, staring at a deer suffering in utter excruciating pain? Or picture me not calling the police because I assumed somebody else would make the call? I would have allowed my fear, pain, grief and selfishness to cloud my judgment, ultimately, influencing me to not so much do the wrong thing, but to neglect doing the right thing.
I also found myself for a split second saying, “I really wish I had not seen that,” although in the next second, I felt grateful to be presented with the opportunity to see the accident and do the right thing quickly. Now he does not need to suffer horribly for hours on end by the side of the road. Few people drive by during late hours with the current lockdown.
Trust Your Gut
Intuitive hunches always lead you in the right direction. Listen to your intuition. Nobody ever goes wrong or makes immoral decisions listening to the small, still voice.
Note; trusting your gut sometimes feels scary or outright terrifying. In other situations, trusting your intuition influences you to make difficult, sometimes excruciating decisions.
Nobody said doing the right this is always easy but the long term peace of mind you experience by trusting your gut is worth making tough choices.