At every moment in your conscious life to have the intent to do the next indicated right thing is a great way to live. The world is an infinitely complex place and it is impossible to know what will be happening in the next moment, and thus to decide in the moment what the next indicated thing will be can be difficult. But decide we must because the moments inevitably move on and doing nothing is as much an action as is continuing to do what one is already doing as a perceived inertia of the moment. Inaction is an action too. However, doing something totally unique in response to the perceived situation usually requires some kind of preexisting habits that will assert themselves as thoughts in response to what is perceived.
Thus, to successfully do what turns out, on later consideration, to be the next right thing is to some extent dependent upon an accurate perception of the situation presented to one’s consciousness. That perception is itself dependent upon what came before the moment which itself is dependent upon not only the physical reality but the potential ones and it vanishes into complexity. In interpersonal situations, such as typical conversation, this isn’t much of a problem but when we are reacting to professionally produced media, in all its forms, that has been carefully programmed to control our perceptions, their setup becomes critical. Advertising and political presentations are carefully honed to manipulate our perception of reality. Those people want us to react positively to what they present to us and thus to behave at their whim. They intend for us to buy their commercial product or to support and vote for their view of what is a public benefit.
How to do the next indicated right thing isn’t always easy to discern. There is a slight variation on that idea that we have been discussing that attempts to define the right thing. The right thing is a human value judgment that is defined by human values. The right things are themselves infinitely variable. Sometimes we are talking about the Earth environment, and sometimes about the planet Saturn’s environment. That is why the Cassini spacecraft was intentionally collided with Saturn in such a way that it was incinerated. That was to kill any possible transfer of an Earth life form that might be on the spaceship. That was a very remote right thing to do.
Usually, it is in face-to-face interpersonal relationships that we are concerned with the right thing to do. But it is complicated, and perhaps a better thought to cultivate into a habit is when facing a situation to always do the kind thing. That thought will, when cultivated into a habit, automatically take the other person’s needs into account and thus when behaving that way you will be doing the right thing, at least in that person’s reality, and in yours. Perhaps to do the right thing …
Be kind. Always be kind.