A 15-year-old boy learned a valuable lesson about life principles. He wrote a letter to “Dear Abby” about finding a woman’s wallet that contained $127 as well as the woman’s identification. He hopped onto his bicycle and peddled over to her house – about a mile away. He told her he found her wallet and she gave him a big hug. She also gave him twenty dollars.
That evening the boy told his parents about the event and his father said, “I don’t think you should have accepted $20 for doing what you should have done. A person shouldn’t be rewarded for being honest.”
He pondered his father’s statement and decided he would return the money. He biked to the lady’s home and gave her back the twenty dollars. She didn’t want to take it, but he told her she had to – that his father pointed out something to him that he had never realized before. Her eyes filled with tears as she said, “This is one for Ripley.”
The boy’s question to Abby? “Abby, who is Ripley?”
Is a life built around principles so unusual that Robert Ripley should mention it in his column “Believe It or Not”? When ideals such as honesty and a personal standard of always doing the right thing guide our every action and decision, we actually change. These great principles shape our lives and make us into persons of character. They build self esteem and teach confidence. That boy is fortunate to be raised by a wise father who had the wisdom to say, “Those are my principles.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. Put it well: “The time is always right to do what is right.” Those were his principles. Decide to always do what is right – today and every day – and you will find yourself building a life that matters.
© 2002 Steve Goodier
Thanks to Life Support System Publishing, Inc. [email protected]