Do The Right Thing

Many lifetimes ago (at least, it feels that way), I worked for a medium-sized office-based organisation.

It’s amusing to call out company culture, for example Bullshit Bingo. There are certain words and phrases which certain employees tend to overuse or use inappropriately, thinking it makes them seem more professional or cleverer.

Shock fact: it doesn’t. It just makes you look like a try-hard, a David Brent.

However, sometimes companies get it dead right. My company had an HR initiative called Do The Right Thing. I was unsure what to make of it at the time. I don’t think I understood it. Due to the simplicity of the message, I underestimated how profound its implications were.

The idea is that all of us carry around our own sets of morals and core values. These are deeply personal to us… and everyone’s different.

Rather than trying to force all employees to be carbon-copies of some theoretical ideal employee, with prescribed “company values”, the idea was that we should all use our own in-built morality system in order to do what’s best for our customers.

Nowadays, I look back on Do The Right Thing and I hugely admire it as a concept.

It’s an injunction to live ethically, to treat others how we wish to be treated ourselves.

I blogged several times recently about my search for a higher purpose. I’ve been trying to follow Jordan Peterson’s advice and focus on activities which feel meaningful to me.

Most recently, I’ve been very interested in creating a videogame based on music. But, if I’m honest, it doesn’t feel all that meaningful to me. It feels like a “nice to have”… a bit of fun.


Earlier in my adult life, one ex-girlfriend and one of my schoolfriends have killed themselves. At least one member of my wider family has taken their own life.

In the last few weeks, it’s felt like death has been all around me. In my wider social circle, two people have killed themselves and one more has attempted suicide. Another good friend has come very close to enacting a plan to kill himself recently. I’m deeply worried he might still go through with it.

Having come close to suicide several times in my own life, these recent events have given me a heavy heart.

I understand what it’s like to feel so useless that you think everyone around you would be better off if you didn’t exist any more. I understand what it’s like to experience severe depression. Just as an added bonus, I also have first-hand experience of addiction… and the recovery that’s possible.

Mental health, depression, suicide, addiction… if ever there was a higher calling in my life, it’s to these subjects.

I used to volunteer as a listener for a suicide prevention charity – but my own escalating mental health problems eventually made that impossible.

What next?

I’m not sure. I’m going to research mental health charities and see what positions (both voluntary and paid-for) are available.

Maybe my writing skills might be useful to one of these charities.

I’m going to look at what training and education I might purchase in order to increase my knowledge and skills.

I just know that I want to do more.

Nothing can bring back the people who have already left this mortal realm. But if there’s any chance at all that I can help prevent someone else from taking their own life, then I feel morally obligated to do whatever I reasonably can.

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