Sometimes There’s No ‘Right’ Answer—You Just Do The Best You Can

girl with eyes closed on cloudy day
📷: Sean Kong

Sometimes you’re faced with impossible decisions, painful truths. Sometimes you’re standing there, just trying to make sense of what you can and it feels like the ground is caving beneath you. Sometimes you’re expected to fall on one end of the spectrum and you find yourself leaning the opposite way. Sometimes you’re wondering what feels right, but both choices feel good in your heart.

Sometimes there’s no ‘right’ or ‘easy’ answer—you just do the best you can.

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This morning I sat down for breakfast with a good friend and a few of her gal pals to know to talk about the ‘big stuff.’ Like most intentional coffee/breakfast dates, you go in with a purpose, and my friend’s theme is “Messy Buns. Messy Lives. Messy Mornings”—fitting for a small group of women constantly pulled in three hundred different directions, but still want to tackle topics that matter in our messy lives.

Anyways, I got there and like most mornings, the conversation jumped deep right away. From gun control to feminism to sheltering children to the changes in social media—we had so much to talk about—and even more to think about when we left.

But one thing that stuck with me is that even when we (us at breakfast, or humans in general) put on our most selfless goggles and attempt to see the world in a new way, even when we consider our backgrounds, our faiths, the way we were raised and be considerate of others in comparison, and even when we try to be both objective and subjective—there sometimes isn’t a ‘right’ answer.

Sometimes what someone believes in the deepest parts of their heart might not resonate with someone else. Sometimes what’s ‘right’ in terms of a certain faith won’t align with another’s. Sometimes there is no clear definition of the ‘moral’ choice in a given situation.

Sometimes we just don’t know.

And that’s scary, isn’t it? When things aren’t clear cut? When you want to have the answer, to know, without a doubt that you’re doing the right thing?

Uncertainty is terrifying, but even more terrifying when it has to do something big.

Is the better choice to strip women of the rights to their own bodies, or to save unborn babies? Should we allow the government to control our guns/weapons for the sake of change, or should we focus on other underlying issues in mental health? Do we screen our children from the world, or throw them directly into the situations they’ll inevitably be a part of? Etc. Etc. Etc.

Some of these questions may seem like no-brainers. But what if someone supports, with all their heart, the opposite side? What if they have justifiable, or legitimate points to support their belief?

What if one of those people on the other side is someone you love?

Sometimes decisions seem easy. But sometimes they’re not. Sometimes deciding feels like a knife through the heart, or like choosing the lesser of two evils. Or maybe you’re so torn that you can’t make a decision at all.

But the way I see it (and what I’m coming to terms with this morning) is that we can’t possibly know what’s ‘right’ all the time. And I’m not talking about basic morals here, but about the complicated situations we often find ourselves in. The moments where we have to decide between selflessly moving across the country to be with someone we love or selfishly pursuing our own careers. Where we must choose whether to take a baby to full term when there’s a 90% chance he might not live. Where we have to pull the breathing tube from a loved one, or pick a presidential candidate, or walk away from a marriage, or something else that’s just as complicated as it is personal.

Sometimes the experiences we face and the decisions we must make aren’t cut and dry. But perhaps that’s where we look inside ourselves and find who we really are. Perhaps that’s where we think about our faith, our compassion, our personal thoughts and find a way to filter through so that we’re accepting and tolerant and loving with all our hearts, even when we don’t agree with someone else.

Perhaps these are the moments where we accept that we cannot possibly understand, or know, or make the absolute ‘right’ decision all the time (if there even is one!). Perhaps we use these moments as opportunities to grow and teach us.

Perhaps we just do the best we can.