Why Reward Honesty?

Read in the newspaper this morning that an auto driver had been rewarded because of his honesty in returning a wallet. I do applaud his honesty, but a question comes to my mind ‘is honesty so rare that when found it has to be rewarded?”
A 15-year-old boy learned a valuable lesson about life principles. He found a woman’s wallet that contained $127 as well as the woman’s identification. He hopped onto his bicycle and peddled over to her house – about a mile away. He told her he found her wallet and she gave him a big hug. She also gave him twenty dollars.
That evening the boy told his parents about the event and his father said, “I don’t think you should have accepted $20 for doing what you should have done. A person shouldn’t be rewarded for being honest.”
He pondered his father’s statement and decided he would return the money. He biked to the lady’s home and gave her back the twenty dollars. She didn’t want to take it, but he told her she would have to – that his father pointed out something to him that he had never realized before. Her eyes filled with tears as she said, “This one’s for Ripley’s Believe It or Not!”
The boy’s question to his father that evening “Who is Ripley?”
Is a life built around principles so unusual that Robert Ripley should mention it in his column “Believe It or Not”? When ideals such as honesty and a personal standard of always doing the right thing guide our every action and decision, we actually change. These great principles shape our lives and make us into persons of character. They build self esteem and teach confidence. That boy was fortunate to be raised by a wise father who had the wisdom to say, “I do not need a reward for my principles.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. put it well: “The time is always right to do what is right.” Those were his principles. Decide to always do what is right – today and every day – and you will find yourself building a life that matters.
A couple of years ago I watched a group discussion on honesty. There was a prominent policeman, a politician, a doctor and a journalist. What delighted me was that they were all people who had absolute principles about being honest and these values showed through in their talk, very firmly and very strongly.
I went home happy.
They were people who have done well in life. They had risen in their respective fields and were held in high esteem by friends and colleagues. As I looked at them, I knew there was no doubt that honesty pays, and pays well!
You don’t need to be rewarded for honesty, being honest brings its own reward..!


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10 thoughts on “Why Reward Honesty?”

  1. Good one. I feel that when we accept a reward for being honest we are compromising on our honesty .We are no more honest and our trait of honesty goes under a scanner and gets questionable.

  2. “HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY!”. But tell me how many of us can claim to be absolutely honest, never said a lie, never cheated, never made a statement for pecuniary gains et all! None will qualify, not even you Bob, nor me!

  3. As the Bible tells us “whoever walks in his integrity walks securely; and the lying lips will be found out “. Our reward is kept for us in Heaven.

  4. Being honest , is being able to think, say , feel and do the same thing.
    It is a leader’s valuable quality, a soft skill. Our greatest challenge is being honest with ourselves.
    As Shakespeare puts it….
    “This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man .”

  5. It’s our inner voice that helps us determine and act on being honest..Honesty is a virtue which must b inculcated by each one of us through a true awareness of oneself and the principles we hold. I personally feel honesty should b rewarded….

  6. Honesty and integrity are the corner stones of a good society. But these virtues are not easy to find. Recognizing honesty by a reward is not bad to encourage others to follow. But expecting a reward for honesty would not be right.

  7. I feel, if someone gives something with love, its a token, token of love. Rejecting it would hurt his feelings.

  8. I loved Anchees response. I agree with Adil too. Two ladies behind our place came one morning and asked my son in law if he had lost his wallet. He had They returned it with all the notes in tact which had been strewn around by dogs which found it. They returned the cards too. I pray for God to bless, guard and guide them. He went with boxes of sweets for them which they said he needn’t have bought.

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