An Ethical Dilemma -- It's just a quarter 1446

  • My sister recently shared this with me and it somewhat ties into what the overall goals of what SOX compliancy is all about – ensuring honestly and integrity in every aspect of financial accounting. As the old saying goes, many folks will cheat and it’s only in determining their price. This example illustrates how just a quarter could have made the difference.
    An Ethical Dilemma – It’s just a quarter
    Several years ago, a new pastor moved to Houston, Texas. Some weeks after he arrived, he had occasion to ride the bus from his home to the downtown area.
    When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him a quarter too much change. As he considered what to do, he thought to himself, ‘You’d better give the quarter back. It would be wrong to keep it.’
    Then he thought, 'Oh, forget, it’s only a quarter. Who would worry about this little amount. Anyway, the bus company gets too much fare; they will never miss it. Accept it as a ‘gift from above’, keep quiet, and don’t make a big deal about it.
    When his stop came, he paused momentarily at the door, then he handed the quarter to the driver and said, ‘Here, you gave me too much change.’
    The driver with a smile replied, 'Aren’t you the new pastor in town?
    Yes the Pastor replied
    The bus driver replied, ‘I have been thinking lately about going to worship somewhere. I just wanted to see what you would do if I gave you too much change. I’ll see you at church on Sunday’
    When the pastor stepped off of the bus, he literally grabbed the nearest light pole. This small test had shaken him up somewhat. He thought, ‘If I had kept that quarter, I would have made a critical mistake and misrepresented my faith and profession’. The bus driver may have thought that we’re all hypocrites and not taken that step to come to our church on Sunday.
    As business professionals, this serves as an example of how just a small mistake can impact our integrity, as folks are always watching. Ethics is more about what we do when no one is watching us or at least we think no one is watching.

  • Amen brother- we will all learn (or not) somehow…
    we hope for the best in what has been taught…
    and this place to learn…

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