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How much is your honor worth?

Whether you are parenting teens or thinking about your own habits, here is great test for your value system.

Before doing something that has a feeling of dishonesty, or when trying to decide if something is right or wrong, ask yourself, “How much is my honor worth?”

Here are examples of situations you might question:

  • You keep the change when you give someone a $10 and get change back for a $20.
  • Whoops, you get to the car with your bags of merchandise and notice a bag of M&M’s they forgot to charge you for. You figure what the heck and don’t go back in.
  • You back into a pole in your own driveway and no one sees. You tell the insurance company it was a hit and run and collect the damages.
  • You take a sample out of the “natural foods bin” at the grocery store without any intention of buying the snack.
  • You go to the movies and buy tickets for two children, and one senior. But you are not a senior, and they are not under 12.
  • You are mentioned in a newspaper article! You open the rack, take 5 papers , but only pay for one.
  • You open your car door into another car, leaving a significant scratch, but drive away without leaving a note.
  • You have a fancy dinner to go to but have nothing to wear.  So you “buy” a $200 outfit at the department store, wear it, and return it the next day saying “it doesn’t fit”.
  • You routinely tell every hotel clerk you were “unsatisfied’ with something and demand your money back.
  • Your bill comes at the restaurant, minus one entrée you ordered and ate, and you say nothing.
  • You pay for one mail order item, but receive two by mistake. You keep the extra one.
  • You take advantage of “…or your money back” deals by buying a product, using part, and then returning it for a full refund.
  • You make a habit of being “short a few cents” and always leave it for the cashier to absorb.

In each one of these instances the monetary impact ranges from a few cents to several thousand dollars.  In each incident, you are affirming that the price of your honor is the amount you “saved”, “didn’t return”, or “forgot to return.”  Choose one of the above examples, and say out loud, “My honor is worth 6 chocolate almonds from the natural food bin.”  “My honor is worth the $12 I saved in movie tickets by lying about our ages.” “My honor is worth the $500 deductible I won’t have to pay for the car I damaged myself.”

You will be surprised how much your life habits and actions will change and how easy it will be to stay out of trouble and sleep at night if you just ask yourself that simple question.


By Rick Concoff, Ma c 2011

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