I was at the Carytown Farmer’s Market yesterday—which was awesome, by the way. Tons of vegetables, more vendors than the past few weeks, a great variety to choose from, and really nice people behind the tables, per usual.
I bought $4 worth of cucumber & squash from this nice woman. I handed her a 5, and she gave me $2 back.
I looked at the money in my hand… paused for a second… then looked back up at her.
“Ma’am, I got $4 worth of stuff. You gave me an extra dollar back. This one is yours.”
And I handed her back $1. She smiled, almost chuckled, and let out a very appreciative, “Thank you.”
The Moral of the Story
I’m not telling this story because I did anything special. Many of you would have done the same thing.
I’m not telling this story because $1 is a life-changing amount of money. Giving that dollar back will have almost zero financial impact on that woman’s life.
My decision to give that dollar back was made up WAY BEFORE she ever handed me the money.
The action I took was pre-determined. I didn’t decide right there in front of her, that giving the dollar back was the right thing to do. I already knew it was the right move to make. I knew that if I kept that dollar, I would’ve walked around for the rest of the day with a guilty conscience. And if I saw her again next week at the market, I’d feel even worse.
Be Who You Are
I’m very fortunate to have 2 amazing parents who raised me, and many more incredible role-models growing up. Family friends, sports coaches, high school teachers, college professors, and even today, business associates, clients & friends (because when you’re all grown-up, your role models are sometimes even younger than you are).
These people have helped shape me into who I am. And I’m 100% comfortable with who I’ve become. I am the guy who gives the dollar back because it’s the right thing to do. I am the guy who gives the dollar back because all of my role models would have done the exact same thing.
On Making Decisions
I’m the kind of person who likes to think long and hard about every decision, especially the ones I deem very important. But today’s lesson reminded me that sometimes the right decision has already been made, and it’s best not to over-think it. It feels right because it is right. And sometimes the right feeling is all you need to base your decision on.
Photo courtesy of Carytown Farmer’s Market Facebook Page.