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The Honest Truth, Cross my Heart

July 7, 2016

 

It was a dark and stormy night.  Honest.  I had taken a large comforter to the Laundromat because I didn’t want the heavy load to burden my own washing machine.  I slid a twenty into the bill changer and clink clink, eighty quarters began to spew into the bin below.  The place was creepy at that time of night so I grabbed a handful of coins, hurriedly started the wash cycle and headed back out in the rain to the safety of my car.

 

When I returned, there was a ragged figure lurking in the back of the facility by the cheap washers.  Skittishly, I clutched my purse close, took a deep breath and headed for my comforter.  I was frightened when the man started toward me.  He spoke in broken English and my heart beat loudly in my ears so at first I didn’t comprehend.  What was he saying?  He pointed to a stack of neatly arranged coins on the counter.  Then I understood.  In my haste I had left the remaining quarters in the bin. 

 

Stunned, I thanked him for being so honest.  He smiled, showing toothless gaps and explained, “My honesty is worth more than quarters.” 

 

I learned an important lesson that night.  I had always considered myself to be an honest person but I began looking closer at the small, insignificant junk-change.  I began measuring myself on the scale of,  “Is my honesty is worth more than...?”  There are a million scenarios ranging from a few cents to a large sum, or from a white lie to a part truth or a full-blown, out-and-out falsehood.  Either direction on the scale amounts to the price one is willing to pay for their integrity.  And that’s the truth, cross my heart.

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