I was in a store recently and the clerk neglected to scan an item and gave me my total. I pointed out that the item had not been scanned, and she starred at me like I had three heads. She scanned the item and I paid the correct total. When she handed me the bag she said, “I can’t believe you did that, the mistake was in your favor. Most people would have just walked away.” I told her it was the right thing to do and if I walked out of the store without paying for that item I was in essence stealing, even if she made the mistake.
We live in a world where we tell ourselves and others lame excuses or flimsy reasons for our actions, our decisions, our poor execution on things, or even our lazy forgetfulness. We have learned that gaming the system is okay if no one gets caught and there are victimless crimes which don’t really matter. Sure life is not always black and white, yet being able to darken the grey so our own wrong actions or decisions seem less wrong is not the right way for all this to work. Right is right and wrong is wrong, no matter what.
It is sad the we have to choose everyday to live a life that is rigorously honest, sad that it is not expected of us anymore. Grey areas, ‘white lies’, plausible excuses and ‘everyone else was doing it’ are words we hear all too often. When we are honest people are shocked. They cannot believe we would put honesty before saving a buck. I don’t know about you but my honesty ad personal integrity is not for sale at any price. I have to face myself in the mirror everyday and if I begin diluting truth in order to make or save a buck, when does it stop? When do I begin to doubt my own word because I know when and where and how often I have made excuses or bilked the system so I could pinch a penny. That’s not at all the person I want to be.
Dare today to be rigorously honest. When or if the opportunity comes along to mince words or ‘spin’ the truth, don’t do it. Tell the truth, pay the price, give it all you have and live with the result. Then look in the mirror and congratulate yourself for being honest no matter what. What you think about you is the most important opinion of all. So act accordingly.