Why does “doing the right thing” often conjure thoughts of hardship, as if doing the right thing is synonymous with sacrifice? What if, instead, one simply did the right thing for the reward of doing the right thing?
The photo below is from Glendalough, “Valley of the Two Lakes,” in Ireland where a sixth century monk named Kevin (Coemhghein in his native tongue) made his home. In this place, the legend of Kevin’s love for nature and animals was born— a legend that Irish poet Seamus Heaney borrowed over a thousand years later to craft a reflection on doing the right thing.
A few years ago, when I heard Irish poet Seamus Heaney introduce his poem “St. Kevin and The Blackbird,” I was touched by his description of the story as “a little meditation” on “doing the right thing for the reward of doing the right thing.” (more…)