Jon Filitti

Jon Filitti


A while back I was asked to write a “What I Believe” essay for an NPR Radio exercise for one of the local high schools. This is what I shared…

“What is right for me is not merely what I want or wish to be right, but what I honestly think is right, after I have carefully weighed and considered the matter.”

I was forced to memorize these thirty-two words over two decades ago. I attended a private high school and one of our teachers gave us a written test to make sure we had committed these words to memory.

At the time it was merely an excruciating exercise in memory. But as I’ve grown older the words have become more relevant. And now, I find myself passing the words on to those seeking advice or direction.

Photograph via Jordan McQueen

I wish I could say I’ve always lived by these words. Unfortunately, I haven’t. I’m not perfect, not even close. There are times I forget these words for months or even years at a time.

But eventually I always find myself coming back and remembering these words I learned so long ago.

Certainly, if you take a moment to reflect on your regrets, you’ll agree, “wanting” and “wishing” are powerful emotions we have to wrestle with on a daily basis. It’s up to each one of us to “weigh and consider the matter” before every decision we make. My belief, “what I honestly think is right”, reminds me to take pause before I take action.

Photograph via Paul Gilmore

If I can pass on one belief to you it would be this; memorize these words. Be bold and active in the establishment of your personal ethics. Mistakes happen, we’re human, but learning “what is right for me” is the most rewarding decision you will ever make.

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More about Jon Filitti: First I became a counselor. Then a dad. I created some comic books and started a mental health private practice. Now I talk to interesting people on Mindsoak and Twitter.