Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Do The Right Thing

I was listening to the car radio on this blustery 23 degree day, and the DJ was lamenting that she had lost one of her husband's gloves the previous day.

Her co-host questioned why she had her husband's gloves and not her own.
She answered, "I don't need gloves."
The co-host wondered: "Why did you have your husband's gloves?"
"Because it was cold." (Note to DJ - you need gloves, even if it is only cold twice a year.)

Her dilemma, since she had lost one glove, was what to do about it.
Would it be ok to give him new gloves for Valentine's Day as a replacement?
Should she buy cheap gloves or expensive gloves?
If they were just going to get lost, wouldn't cheap ones be okay?

I'm thinking to myself, talking to the radio, and telling my daugher:
No, you can't give him a gift two weeks later, to replace something you lost!
No, you can't buy cheap gloves if that isn't what he had. You lost the gloves, not him.
Buy the same type of gloves as you lost.

Her whole conversation with the other DJ seemed like she was trying to wiggle her way out of doing the right thing to make amends for her mistake.

I was incredulous.

But I shouldn't have been.

We see this happen all the time in many different ways. Often, we don't want to do the right thing because it will cost us. It might cost us money; it might cost us pride; but it will cost us.

I once got all the way home before I discovered that my cute 3 year old had taken a pair of earring backs from an accessories store at the mall. I could have justified not returning them. Nobody knew she had them. They didn't cost very much.

But, the right thing to do was return them. We all got back in the car and drove back to the mall. That cute 3 year old had to give the stolen item back to the store clerk. As often happens, the teenage store clerk made light of it. After all, the shoplifter was only 3 and she sure was cute in her denim skirt and cowboy boots.

But, returning the item was the right thing to do and hopefully my daughter remembers that.

When we had goats, they regularly escaped and roamed our rural neighborhood. It was not uncommon to see a small herd of goats wandering down our road.

One day when they escaped, they destroyed a neighbor's Redbud tree. I rounded up the goats and put them back in their pen.

But, there was still the matter of the ruined tree. The neighbors didn't know it was ruined (yet). They didn't know my goats had feasted on the tree. They might have eventually suspected it was my goats.

However, I chose to do the right thing.

I called my neighbors, told them what happened and offered to replace the tree. They said, "No, that's ok."

But it really wasn't. That was just a polite answer. Even though the tree would probably grow back, it would take a while.

I bought a new tree, planted it, and watered it.

It was the right thing to do. The goats (my property) had destroyed the tree (their property).

I recently read this about teens trashing a home and the parents suing the homeowner. I was appalled.

Parents, please teach your children to do the right thing.
Please model doing the right thing for your children.

Yes, it might cost time, money, or pride.
Do it anyway.
Tweet: Yes, it might cost time, money, or pride.

Do it anyway.


9peasMom said...

Yes, yes, yes!!! I too have taken my kids back to the store and even drove back threw a LONG line at a fast food place because I was given the incorrect amount in return (to the favor of myself). I still feel, it is worth it to always model doing the right thing, but also because it feels right to do the right thing!

karentrina said...

Yes, it does feel right to do the right thing. I was recently at a 'cash only' grocery store and realized the cashier had not charged me for an item. I brought it to her attention and she said since it was her mistake not to worry about it. I guess that seemed like the 'right thing' to her.

Anonymous said...

Touche. Great arguments. Keep up the good work.

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