Is Honesty Really the Best Policy?


Yesterday, I went out to dinner with close friends of mine and we subsequently caved in to our kids’ demands for frozen yogurt afterwards.  We headed to one of the newest places in town called Bohemian Raspberry because they also have coffee for us grownups.

As the kids were filling up their cups with various frozen yogurt flavors and a wide array of toppings, I happened to notice a $10 bill lying on a table nearby.   I walked over to it wondering if one of the kid’s may have dropped it, I asked around but no, it belonged to no one.  I quickly reasoned that a customer must have left the money there unknowingly.

With the money in hand, I walked up to a girl working behind the counter and said, “Excuse me, I found this money over there,” handing her the $10 bill.  The expression on her face was priceless.  “What?” she asked, thinking she must have misheard me.  “I found this money over there.”

Again sensing her surprised reaction, I added jokingly, “I know.  I’m either honest or stupid, right?”  She then looked up at me with a smile and said, “You are honest.”

“Well, you know,” I chimed in, “Just in case this is for a reality show and there were cameras there waiting to see what I would do.” We shared a laugh as my husband John walked up to pay for two cups of coffee and yogurt for our two daughters.  I was busy chatting with my friend Lisa when my husband patted me on the shoulder, “Honey, she gave us a discount for your honesty.  The whole thing only came to $7 and change.”  I looked over at the girl and said, “Oh, thank you very much.”

My husband and I made our way over to a table and sat down with our friends. We sat there for about five minutes enjoying good conversation and coffee when the girl behind the counter came over to us putting a pastry down on the table and handing us two discount coupons for our next visit.  This time it was me who looked surprised.  She looked at me smiled and just said, “For your honesty.”

There’s an old saying, “What goes around comes around.”  I couldn’t help but think of this as my husband and I downed our delicious and unexpected pastry.  Let’s face it; a lot of people would have just pocketed that money.  No one even knew it was there.  So it would have been an easy $10 in my pocket.

But what I received in return was worth far more than $10.  Though the discount, the free pastry and the coupons didn’t quite add up to $10, her warm response to my honesty lifted my spirit.  She clearly made my day.  I did something nice for her and she reciprocated and turned that kindness right back at me. What you reap, you shall sow.

Although it might sound cliché, this is a good example that you shouldn’t expect from others what you are not willing to give.  Treat others the way that you expect to be treated.  If you want love, show it.  If you want honesty, give it.  And if you ever happen to be near Westfield, NJ and in the mood for some frozen yogurt, stop in and visit the wonderful folks at Bohemian Raspberry!


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