I walked outside to my car and saw a disturbing sight. Someone had keyed the entire passenger side. It had to get fixed. Fortunately, I was covered.
Of course they always hit the best looking side. And they didn't key my hood, which needed the most touch-up. Some of you are saying, "Hey stupid. Why don't you claim the hood as part of the damage? Your insurance wouldn't know the difference."
Simple. That would be a lie...
(It's funny, but when people buy a five thousand dollar item--they treat it like a five thousand dollar item. If they get the exact item for free, it usually collects dust.)
Which leads to the volatile topic of personal integrity...
Do you lie on your income taxes? Do you plagiarize? Do you cheat on your partner? Do you break your word? Do you falsify information? And even more acceptable--do you try to get even?
I'm sure none of you are of this calibre, but let's assume the rest of the world made these common practices. They believe it's no big deal to tell a lie because it's really harmless and besides, everyone gets away with it. Or maybe they've been burned by someone who got away with it, so why not join them and do the same to others?
For one thing--this eviscerates the Golden Rule of doing unto others, as you'd have them do unto you:
You don't want to be a victim of cheating, so why would you become a participant? You don't want to be taken advantage of, so why join some plot to abuse your talents? You want to reap the good, so why sow to the bad?
And for another thing--what goes around, comes around:
Some call it karma. Others call it sin. Whatever it's called in your circle--it seems to haunt you later in life. It bites you in the ass and leaves painful marks.
If you want to be treated right, you should treat others right first. If you gossip about others, others will gossip about you. If you profit from the expense of others, others are forming a line to take a shot at you.
But you reason, "You don't understand. You haven't been through what I've been through. I've kept my word - my end of the deal - and I got burned. I've got to teach them a lesson!"
Hey, save it. You'll waste too much time trying to collect what you're due. It's usually more profitable to forgive and move on. You won't become its slave and you'll sleep better at night.
Here's what I mean...
My mentor's books are illegally published in different languages. When he appeared in one of those countries for a keynote, they treated him like a famous rock star. He got the royal treatment and spin-off deals because he didn't waste time collecting what he was owed. He leveraged his loss of income to make even more money without lifting a finger.
That's the same power we've been granted. We have the power to choose our actions. Do we pursue our wrongdoers, or forgive them?
Tough choices we must make...
Is your editor applying for sainthood? No, not even. This is the same stuff he struggles with.
I was in Chicago for a company launch. My group leader offered his group a discount to join him. I was at the lobby when I met up with him.
The lady from Atlanta was shocked she had to pay full price for her group. She whined to our leader about the discount. To avoid a scene, he joked about it and quickly gave in.
I was next in line. Would I pay full price or would he offer me the same discount? No dice: I paid full.
Now you're probably surmising: "You're not a Super Saint--but a Super Sap."
I disagree. Because it goes far deeper than just dollars and cents. Allow me to explain...
I sought no favor with my leader. He's well off and doesn't need the money. He was probably testing me to see if I would whine also. If I got anything from the incident, I think I won his respect. And that can stretch a very long way.
How about you?
Have you won people's respect? Do they see you as an Institute of Integrity? Do you have a reputation that's beyond reproach?