A Matter Of Honesty

A man and son are headed inside a 7-11 store.
As they are walking pass a pay telephone, the son,
a seven-year-old, checks for returned dimes. Much more
than dimes meet his eyes! “Dad, look what someone’s done.”

The coin receptacle has been broken into, but still all
its money remains. “It appears some thief got interrupted
in the act. Son, go inside and bring back a bag – a small
one.” Together they fill the bag, their actions disrupted

only by the son’s asking “May I keep all this money?
The phone company would never know.” The man
replies “ But, YOU would know. Just because we
did not break into the box doesn’t mean that you can

have the money. It would still be stealing.” Together
they give the bag of coins to the store clerk for return
to the phone man. The father and son shake one another’s
hand. “Son, having pride in being honest is a lesson to learn.”

Thirty years have now passed…The son tells his father about
his own young daughter finding a wallet filled with money
and their turning it in together to mall security. “No doubt
she hated to part with all that money. It was just like me

when you made me give back that bag of coins to the clerk.”
“You remember that, eh?” “Although it was the honest thing to do,
Dad, you know that fellow kept the money and thought us jerks.”
“Maybe. I wasn’t concerned about teaching him honesty, just you.”

Friendly Musings

Harry Edward Gilleland      02.02.03    printer friendly