Perhaps some among us, are perplexed, baffled and flummoxed by the commonly heard refrain, “Do the right thing." So to put it bluntly, this writer asks, “What is the right thing?” In this whole universe with the trillions of events, questions, variables, etc., what do we really mean by “do the right thing."
Too many of us ignore the word “THE” in phrases. “THE” is a very special word suggesting that whatever is being spoken about is the “ONE AND ONLY” i.e. the “REAL MCCOY.” When it comes to “do THE right thing” it presumes that there is but one Right proper, appropriate, gentile, morally correct, legally kosher avenue, means and approach. It presumes a Mono-dimensionality and binary choice as if there is that one way versus its opposite. If I simply met you suggested you do the right thing—bereft of all context—you might ask “well what do you mean? What are you talking about?” But indeed, choice is multi-plex and varied. We not only do things but do them in style. We may write using script handwritings vary. We can play a piano but each person's style, touch, cadence, etc., is unique that some experts can hear the difference between performers. During the war with Germany, United States Morse Code experts not only could hear that the Germans were transmitting but they could actually “hear” the differences in style. How then might we tell some Morse code expert to do the right thing.” The means of delivery and style are nearly as important than content.
Those employing and addicted to the phrase “Do the Right Thing” are a bit short on intellect and understanding and tend to see the world in zero sum and unidimensional terms.