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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Kapact's Rant: Being Honest With Yourself

When a person is confronted by a choice, the opportunity to do something right or wrong, is their decision based upon the chance of getting caught, or if they are thinking about taking something that is not theirs, maybe they think they 'deserve' whatever it is, or they think the owner won't miss it. It's not a rare thing, especially in these days that see all of us struggle to get by, and most might casually take something without wanting to think of that ugly 'thief' word.

Let's just imagine you are at a laundromat, and you find a cold can of soda, left unopened by a family that you've seen leave. Imagine further that this family is obviously traveling through, and will most likely not come back looking for it. Would you feel that it was acceptable to drink the soda? You aren't really stealing it, are you? They left it behind, maybe on purpose. What you are judging at this point is really the relationship, if you will, between the soda and its owner. Based just on that, you could make the case that there is no harm in taking the soda. But really, that relationship is not your concern. Not your business. It's not what you need to think about. What you need to think about and really use as the baseline for your decision is your relationship to the soda, because that's really all that counts. First and foremost, did you buy it? Did you earn it? No. And really, that should be all that it comes down to. But you can also consider that the traveling family could conceivably come back looking for their soda. What will they think? But again, that shouldn't matter. All that should matter to you is your relationship to the soda. And the simple question and simple answer. Did you buy it? Do you own it? No. That simple idea can apply to many situations. Any time you find yourself in the position of taking something that in fact isn't yours, even a snack left unclaimed in the breakroom at work, don't think about whether or not the owner might miss it, or whether or not you might get caught. Just think about whether or not you have any right to it. If you're honest with yourself (and if you're lying to yourself, you're lying to the whole world), you'll know the simple answer, and do the right thing.

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