Doing the Right Thing

do the right thing

This afternoon, Drew asked me if I had an idea for my blog, because if I didn’t, he had one for me!  After school, he was at my dad’s shop and a man walked in with a little girl.  Drew thought she might have been about four or five years old.  The man went up to the register and told the cashier that his daughter had taken the stickers without paying for them, and he was having her come back to the store so that he could buy them.  No one would have ever known that she had taken them.  They could have easily walked down the street without anyone being aware.  The dad did the right thing, and in doing so, taught a lesson to his daughter even at that young age.

This made me think about a story that happened when my sister, brothers and I were young.  The four of us had saved our money and went into town by ourselves to buy a birthday present for our dad.  He used a very specific kind of pen for his work and we had enough money to buy two of them.  We went into the shop that sold them and proudly walked up to the counter with our own money to pay for them.  A red one and a blue one.  The owner of the shop checked us out and put the pens into a bag.  We walked home and took the pens out of the bag to show our mom what we got and to wrap them.  When we opened the bag, there were FOUR pens instead of two.  The owner, had accidentally put two extra into the bag.  My mother put all four of us right into the car and drove us down to the shop to return two of the pens.  She went into the shop with us and told the owner what had happened.  He took the two pens from her, and tossed them aside on the counter.  Not a thank you.  Not even an acknowledgement of doing the right thing.  My mother was furious.  I don’t remember her exact words, but she told him that we could have easily taken those pens but instead, we were doing the right thing by returning them to him.  He shrugged his shoulders.  That was it.  Not a word.

This is such a vivid memory for me.  Even at ten or eleven years old, I knew that man was wrong.  My mother was trying to teach us a lesson about doing the right thing and he basically disregarded and dismissed her and the four of us.  We were forbidden to ever shop there again!

I truly believe that the insensitivity of that man, made me much more aware of things like that happening.  I have worked at my dad’s shop.  I made eye contact with customers.  I talked to customers.  I treated them the way I would want to be treated.  That man did not treat us with respect and even as children we were aware of that and it is something that has stuck with me these years. I imagine that even at that young age,  I knew how wrong he was . Perhaps it is part of the foundation that has made me develop into the person that I am today.

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