Quote of the Day: Do the Next Right Thing

 

The Frozen movies are weird. On the one hand, Elsa’s “Yay me! Let my inhibitions go!” song–as she nearly destroys an entire country with an unnatural winter–is a terribly odd anthem for a character who’s supposed to be a heroic Disney princess.  And then there’s the metaphysics of Frozen 2, which is among the most poorly explained things in film history.  Was the voice some higher goddess form of Elsa, and what exactly would that mean anyway?  Or was it her mother, and if so why didn’t Elsa say, “Oh my gosh, hi Mom, it’s been so long”?  Or was it something else?

On the other hand, Anna is a good depiction of selfless love, and Olaf even more so.  Olaf is like Sam Gamgee, Neville Longbottom, and Ricochet’s @peterrobinson: He’s just the best.  And then there’s the good advice from that little Troll: “Do the next right thing.”

Let’s talk about that instead of Frozen movies.

“Do the next right thing” is some darn good advice! How could you possibly go wrong following that advice?  I guess sometimes you might not know what is the next right thing.  But all the same, there’s a pretty long list of things a person could do next that are almost sure to be right things in most situations for most people.  To name a few:

Eat an apple, thank G-d for apples, get a nice cup of tea, thank G-d for tea, get a good night’s sleep, take a break from social media, take a walk, walk the dog, sweep the floor, wash some dishes, go fishing, listen to wind going through trees (pine trees are excellent for this), listen to this Beethoven (I love the last part), listen to some other music you like, read a thoughtful post on Ricochet, read some C. S. Lewis, read a thoughtful Ricochet post, read the Babylon Bee, read The Adventures of Tintin, read some Charles Schultz, read some Tolkien, read some Shakespeare, watch some original Star Trek, thank G-d for these and other good things in your life, woo your wife if you have one, apologize to someone you owe an apology to, forgive someone, pray for someone you’re having trouble forgiving, donate to the Salvation Army, donate blood, try to think of some other way to love your neighbor, say a prayer for your neighbor, text an old friend and find out how he’s doing, think of some sin you should repent of, repent of it, pray for wisdom and then read Proverbs to find it, read Genesis, read Exodus, read the Gospels, read a Psalm, or memorize Psalm 23 (which @jamesdelingpole and friends are convinced demons hate, and I think they’re right).

Find the right thing that’s next for you–whichever it is, either from that list or from the very long list of good things I didn’t list!–and then do it.

Then repeat.

Pretty good life advice.  (Hey, does Jordan Peterson need something for another list of rules?)

I am pleased to say that I’m pretty sure the demon Screwtape in Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters would definitely prefer we stay away from all such good things, including the very everyday ones that aren’t overtly spiritual.

I am, however, very sorry to say that my memories were wrong on one point: I thought Oswald Chambers had said “Do the next right thing” before Disney said it.  But here’s what Oswald Chambers actually said:

My Utmost for His Highest, February 17:

When the Spirit of God comes He does not give us visions, He tells us to do the most ordinary things conceivable. Depression is apt to turn us away from the ordinary commonplace things of God’s creation, but whenever God comes, the inspiration is to do the most natural simple thing–the things we would never have imagined God was in, and as we do them we find He is there. The inspiration which comes to us in this way is an initiative against depression; we have to do the next thing and do it in the inspiration of God. If we do a thing in order to overcome depression, we deepen the depression; but if the Spirit of God makes us feel intuitively that we must do the thing, and we do it, the depression is gone. Immediately we arise and obey, we enter on a higher plane of life.

My Utmost for His Highest, February 18:

There are experiences like this in each of our lives. We are in despair, the despair that comes from actualities, and we cannot lift ourselves out of it. The disciples in this instance had done a downright unforgivable thing; they had gone to sleep instead of watching with Jesus, but He came with a spiritual initiative against their despair and said–“Arise and do the next thing.” If we are inspired of God, what is the next thing? To trust Him absolutely and to pray on the ground of His Redemption.

And that’s even better advice.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    And write a book.

    • #1
  2. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Arahant (View Comment):

    And write a book.

    I’m not sure about most people most of the time, but definitely yes.  For many of us, lots of the time!

    • #2
  3. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    And write a book.

    I’m not sure about most people most of the time, but definitely yes. For many of us, lots of the time!

    It’s good for everyone to try.

    • #3
  4. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Saint Augustine:

    Find the right thing that’s next for you–whichever it is, either from that list or from the very long list of good things I didn’t list!–and then do it.

    Then repeat.

    Pretty good life advice. 

    That’s pretty close to this primer on Christian virtues. We should think less of heroic characteristics and more about gradual steps in character growth. Good habits are established little by little. 

    • #4
  5. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    And write a book.

    I’m not sure about most people most of the time, but definitely yes. For many of us, lots of the time!

    It’s good for everyone to try.

    You may be right.

    • #5
  6. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    And write a book.

    I’m not sure about most people most of the time, but definitely yes. For many of us, lots of the time!

    It’s good for everyone to try.

    Comic Strip Megathread XV: So smile, Margo, and move on. - The Something  Awful Forums

    • #6
  7. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    That’s pretty close to this primer on Christian virtues. We should think less of heroic characteristics and more about gradual steps in character growth. Good habits are established little by little.

    [YouTube vid.]

    Yes.

    • #7
  8. sawatdeeka Member
    sawatdeeka
    @sawatdeeka

    Frozen 2 had the most convoluted, contrived plot I’ve ever experienced. 

    I’ve actually been thinking about doing the next good thing these past few weeks, although not in those words. 

    • #8
  9. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Saint Augustine: On the other hand, Anna is a good depiction of selfless love, and Olaf even more so.  Olaf is like Sam Gamgee, Neville Longbottom , and Ricochet’s @peterrobinson: He’s just the best.

    You must mean Sam from the novels. The one in the movies is intolerable. Sam Gamgee is Peter Jackson’s version of Jar Jar Binks. The difference is that Jackson elevated his supporting character to the top tier.

    • #9
  10. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    I didn’t see Frozen 2.  And, right now, I think that might have been the right decision.

    Super.  Wonderful. Post.

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    • #10
  11. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Good habits are established little by little. 

    Isn’t that the truth.

    • #11
  12. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine: On the other hand, Anna is a good depiction of selfless love, and Olaf even more so. Olaf is like Sam Gamgee, Neville Longbottom , and Ricochet’s @ peterrobinson: He’s just the best.

    You must mean Sam from the novels. The one in the movies is intolerable. Sam Gamgee is Peter Jackson’s version of Jar Jar Binks. The difference is that Jackson elevated his supporting character to the top tier.

    Yes to Sam from the books!

    But one of us is missing something from the movies.  Gimli was JarJared, I thought.  And Sam and Gandalf were the only two heroes whose character or nobility wasn’t taken down a notch.

    • #12
  13. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine: On the other hand, Anna is a good depiction of selfless love, and Olaf even more so. Olaf is like Sam Gamgee, Neville Longbottom , and Ricochet’s @ peterrobinson: He’s just the best.

    You must mean Sam from the novels. The one in the movies is intolerable. Sam Gamgee is Peter Jackson’s version of Jar Jar Binks. The difference is that Jackson elevated his supporting character to the top tier.

    Yes to Sam from the books!

    But one of us is missing something from the movies. Gimli was JarJared, I thought. And Sam and Gandalf were the only two heroes whose character or nobility wasn’t taken down a notch.

    In Jackson’s extended cut, Gandalf was mastered by the Lord of the Nazgul. His staff was broken and he was cast from Shadowfax onto the ground. Not so in the novels.

    But you’re probably right about Sam; there really isn’t a parallel namby-pamby wokespeaker in SW.

    And you’re definitely right about every strong character feminized and reduced. Except for Boromir, imagine that.

    • #13
  14. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Barfly (View Comment):

    In Jackson’s extended cut, Gandalf was mastered by the Lord of the Nazgul. His staff was broken and he was cast from Shadowfax onto the ground. Not so in the novels.

    But you’re probably right about Sam; there really isn’t a parallel namby-pamby wokespeaker in SW.

    And you’re definitely right about every strong character feminized and reduced. Except for Boromir, imagine that.

    Fair enough on Gandalf. It’s his character they left intact, but that’s all.

    I think they made Boromir worse.

    It’s Gollum they didn’t make worse.  Hinted that part of the problem was that he was misunderstood.

    • #14
  15. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Barfly (View Comment):

    In Jackson’s extended cut, Gandalf was mastered by the Lord of the Nazgul. His staff was broken and he was cast from Shadowfax onto the ground. Not so in the novels.

    But you’re probably right about Sam; there really isn’t a parallel namby-pamby wokespeaker in SW.

    And you’re definitely right about every strong character feminized and reduced. Except for Boromir, imagine that.

    Fair enough on Gandalf. It’s his character they left intact, but that’s all.

    I think they made Boromir worse.

    It’s Gollum they didn’t make worse. Hinted that part of the problem was that he was misunderstood.

    I thought that Jackson did a pretty good job with Boromir.

    Don’t get me started about how he portrayed Faramir, and even Aragorn.

    • #15
  16. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I thought that Jackson did a pretty good job with Boromir.

    Don’t get me started about how he portrayed Faramir, and even Aragorn.

    I dig. (Boromir was great.  If they made him worse, it wasn’t by much.)

    • #16
  17. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    I know Frozen 2 got panned, but I thought this was a great song for kids and teens that might struggle with depression.

    It was a worthy song, far better than Let it Go.

    • #17
  18. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    That saying presumes the existence of a functional conscience or its instinctive equivalent.  If more of us are turned into Orcs or Whitewalkers (i.e., ideological zombies) the next right thing (after hating one’s own sex, race, class, etc) is to tear down or destroy some good things.

     

    • #18
  19. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    “Do the next right thing” was a favorite saying from my AA sponsor.  The irony is that I almost always know in my heart what the next right thing is.

    • #19
  20. Nanocelt TheContrarian Member
    Nanocelt TheContrarian
    @NanoceltTheContrarian

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    And write a book.

    I’m not sure about most people most of the time, but definitely yes. For many of us, lots of the time!

    It’s good for everyone to try.

    Comic Strip Megathread XV: So smile, Margo, and move on. - The SomethingAwful Forums

    What if someone wrote a book that no one would read? I claim that distinction. Perhaps I am the one person who should never have written a book and should never think about it again?

    • #20
  21. sawatdeeka Member
    sawatdeeka
    @sawatdeeka

    Nanocelt TheContrarian (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    And write a book.

    I’m not sure about most people most of the time, but definitely yes. For many of us, lots of the time!

    It’s good for everyone to try.

    Comic Strip Megathread XV: So smile, Margo, and move on. - The SomethingAwful Forums

    What if someone wrote a book that no one would read? I claim that distinction. Perhaps I am the one person who should never have written a book and should never think about it again?

    Can you share your book in this forum? 

    • #21
  22. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    The irony is that I almost always know in my heart what the next right thing is.

    😆🤣 Have you ever thought about doing them? 😜

    • #22
  23. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Nanocelt TheContrarian (View Comment):
    What if someone wrote a book that no one would read? I claim that distinction. Perhaps I am the one person who should never have written a book and should never think about it again?

    Do it until you get good enough to be read. I may some day get there. 😜

    • #23
  24. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Stina (View Comment):

    I know Frozen 2 got panned, but I thought this was a great song for kids and teens that might struggle with depression.

    It was a worthy song, far better than Let it Go.

    “Do the Next Right Thing”?

    Yes.

    • #24
  25. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    That saying presumes the existence of a functional conscience or its instinctive equivalent. If more of us are turned into Orcs or Whitewalkers (i.e., ideological zombies) the next right thing (after hating one’s own sex, race, class, etc) is to tear down or destroy some good things.

    Yeah, it’s like the Golden Rule. It’s not a perfect summary of everything ethical. It’s useful only if we already know something about what’s right.

    • #25
  26. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    sawatdeeka (View Comment):

    Nanocelt TheContrarian (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    And write a book.

    I’m not sure about most people most of the time, but definitely yes. For many of us, lots of the time!

    It’s good for everyone to try.

    Comic Strip Megathread XV: So smile, Margo, and move on. - The SomethingAwful Forums

    What if someone wrote a book that no one would read? I claim that distinction. Perhaps I am the one person who should never have written a book and should never think about it again?

    Can you share your book in this forum?

    He did share one long post, long enough to be a book. I keep it open on the office compy and hope to read it all eventually.

    • #26
  27. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Saint Augustine:

    Eat an apple, thank G-d for apples, get a nice cup of tea, thank G-d for tea, get a good night’s sleep, take a break from social media, take a walk . . . .

    May be an image of 1 person and text that says 'I NEED A FACEBOOK HOLIDAY, A VERY LONG FACEBOOK HOLIDAY, AND I DON'T EXPECT ISHALL RETURN. IN FACT, I MEAN NOT TO. mgflip.com'

    • #27
  28. Nanocelt TheContrarian Member
    Nanocelt TheContrarian
    @NanoceltTheContrarian

    sawatdeeka (View Comment):

    Nanocelt TheContrarian (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    And write a book.

    I’m not sure about most people most of the time, but definitely yes. For many of us, lots of the time!

    It’s good for everyone to try.

    Comic Strip Megathread XV: So smile, Margo, and move on. - The SomethingAwful Forums

    What if someone wrote a book that no one would read? I claim that distinction. Perhaps I am the one person who should never have written a book and should never think about it again?

    Can you share your book in this forum?

    Yes, indeed. It’s available free on Ricochet at Noesis, the book

    Have a go at it. It’s too arcane. It’s too personal. It’s too long. For those of a scientific bent it’s too religious. For those of a religious bent it’s too scientific. Most find the topics broached irrelevant. I claim it is the synthesis of the dialectic between the (thesis)Age of Faith and the (anti-thesis)Age of Reason; between Religion and Science. Between consciousness and materialism. But that’s just my opinion. As Dennis Miller would say, I could be wrong. 

    • #28
  29. Nanocelt TheContrarian Member
    Nanocelt TheContrarian
    @NanoceltTheContrarian

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Nanocelt TheContrarian (View Comment):
    What if someone wrote a book that no one would read? I claim that distinction. Perhaps I am the one person who should never have written a book and should never think about it again?

    Do it until you get good enough to be read. I may some day get there. 😜

    That would likely take more than a lifetime for me. However, I’m working on my writing skills here at Ricochet, inducing pain and suffering to readers in a welcoming and forgiving forum (where there is much assistance on correcting errors of grammar, and etc.). Thanks.

    • #29
  30. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Nanocelt TheContrarian (View Comment):
    For those of a scientific bent it’s too religious. For those of a religious bent it’s too scientific. Most find the topics broached irrelevant. I claim it is the synthesis of the dialectic between the (thesis)Age of Faith and the (anti-thesis)Age of Reason; between Religion and Science. Between consciousness and materialism. But that’s just my opinion. As Dennis Miller would say, I could be wrong. 

    How high is width?

    Faith isn’t opposed to Reason; it’s orthogonal to it.

     

    • #30