Joseph Campbell had the right kind of parents. I'm envious. With the right kind of parents children have an immediate advantage that others their age can never overtake. Just try getting over having had the wrong kind of parents! And mine were no worse than 90% of the parents in their age group. Gives you an idea of what the kids in my age group had to deal with! Compensating for the wrong kind of parents is time consuming and fraught with disaster. We all need another go at it with better parents. On the other hand, I was a better father than my father was, so, who's to say what kind of father I would have been with a better father? I don't know, but I would love to find out with another chance. I'm going straight to the do-over line in heaven. Or hell. I suppose it will be a longer line in hell.
"Columbus took a chance," as the old saying goes. It's nothing but chance all the way down. We can reduce our chances, but we cannot eliminate them, and live with everything on the line every day. Being at peace with this is simply a matter of living consciously with everything on the line every day. Why hold anything back? Risk it all in being true to yourself! We lose validity by trying to be safe and secure, and cover our bases by keeping the right people happy. Sacrificing our own integrity to keep the right people happy is not being safe and secure. Jesus said what needed to be said, did what needed to be done, and left himself open to the wrath of the authorities. In guarding his own integrity, Jesus left himself open to the opposition of "the right people." And paid the price. He would have paid a different price doing it the other way. What price are we going to pay? Our answer to that question tells the tale. The tale we are telling by the way we live our life. There are four words to honor, cherish, implement in the way we live: Innocence. Integrity. Sincerity. Spontaneity. Stopping to think about it. To weigh our chances. To reduce our risks. To cover our bases with the right people brings calculation, assessment and analysis into play, and innocence, integrity, sincerity and spontaneity are replaced with being smart and crafty. Jesus would be alive today if he had done it that way. And Columbus would have never sailed.
What needs to be done in a situation may have nothing to do with what should (ought to) be done. Must trumps should/ought. And so it is said, "Principles fly in the face of necessity!" The right thing to do leaves morality and ethics debating the implications and consequences, and acts in the moment anyway, nevertheless, even so. Being true to ourselves in doing what the situation calls for is taking the chance of being right about what the situation calls for. There is no being sure for certain that we know what we are doing. We trust ourselves with everything on the line and do what we say needs doing, and wait for time to tell if we were right or wrong. This is called having the courage of our own convictions and acting out of our own sense of what needs to happen-- and doing it again with regard to the outcome of our action. Step by step all the way. This is the way.