Doing what’s right . . .

images-1There are times in each of our lives when we have to make decisions. Some of the decisions are major, while others, in the overall scheme of things, are really quite trivial.

When it comes to making simple decisions, sometimes, whether you know it or not, one’s character comes into question. It’s often a simple test, where you can choose to take advantage or simply do the right thing.

Do you always do what’s right, or does it depend on the circumstances?

Today I faced one of those “doing what is right” moments. I stopped by a local convenience store to pick up a few items. The gentleman in front of me was getting gas and he decided to run in and quickly have the guy behind the counter check what was a previous lottery ticket. (big surprise, not a winner). As I placed my items on the counter, I noticed a nicely folded stack of cash laying on the counter. Somewhat surprised, I picked up the cash and slipped it into the pocket of my jacket as I pulled my wallet out to pay.

Leaving the store, I see the gentleman that was in front me standing next to his car as he is filling his tank. He hadn’t a clue of what he had just done.

Decision point….

Do I simply get in my car and drive away? No one would ever know. I don’t know who he is and he doesn’t know who I am. Besides, I’m not even sure it was his cash and hey it’s only maybe $10 or $15 dollars at the most.

If I walk up to him, what do I say? Do I flash the cash and simply hand it to him? Do I inquire if this belongs to him?

What to do, what to do?

The decision was simple. Do the right thing!

As I approach the man pumping his gas, I casually asked him if he happened to leave his cash on the counter. With a look of shear panic on his face he frantically starts checking all of his pockets. I could tell from his reaction this was more than a couple of bucks. Handing him the cash I realized the rational behind his trepidation as I noticed there was quite a few Benjamin’s in the stack.

Shaking my hand he says he can’t thank me enough and jokingly adds his wife would have killed him. I smiled at him and said, I’m just doing what’s right.

Driving away I smiled to myself, satisfied that I did the right thing. Besides, I probably prevented a serious domestic dispute.



Doing what is right isn’t a sometimes event and it doesn’t depend on the circumstances. It’s about your values, moral character, and the individual decisions you choose to make. The great philosopher Confucius says, “To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage.”

Do you have the courage to do what is right?


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2 replies

  1. Great post Bruce. It’s the little integrity tests that can be the hardest to pass; the ones where we can easily and truthfully say “nobody will know”. As you said, right doesn’t depend on circumstances.

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