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The Little Things

On Saturday, I committed what most might consider a harmless offense. So harmless it isn't even worth mentioning here. All I'll say is it involved the borough of Manhattan, a train, a [insert expletive] train conductor, a graduate school fair, a lot of money and a little bit of money. It hadn't been my intention to do what I did --- I didn't want or need to --- but I was caught off guard by a train conductor with an axe to grind on a rainy Saturday morning (who knows why) and when he confronted me I said the first thing that came to mind. And what I said wasn't true.

This little white lie came with a significant price tag and on Saturday I was a miserable mess because of it.

How many times over the course of the day do we have the opportunity to tell the truth or do the right thing --- over the most miniscule things? Then for whatever reason our minds begin kicking out stats, odds, chances of our success in doing otherwise (in other words getting away with it) despite what we know in our hearts to be wrong.

I was raised on very basic truths, one of them being: a small lie and a big lie are one in the same --- in God's eyes and everyone else's. My incident on Saturday had a profound impact on me. I asked myself, What's wrong with me? I had no reason whatsoever to not be honest. Normally I don't even blink when someone comes at me half-cocked. Maybe I'm getting older or maybe I'm just old. The desire to "get over" even in pointless situations has completely left me. While thinking all this over, all my home training came back to me in one sudden rush and I had to ask myself, What kind of man am I? What kind of father am I? What kind of husband am I? What example am I to the people who need me the most? Now I might have been giving myself too hard a time over this. But it gets like this sometimes in the lives of men, dads and husbands. As I contemplated all of this on a commuter train home ride from Manhattan, I closed my eyes and asked God to forgive me --- for everything, my 2009, the pain I've been carrying around because of it and the resulting anger that has done neither my family nor me any good even though most who know me say I haven't been guilty of much.

When I opened my eyes again, I was a little closer to home and the pain was gone. I spent the afternoon and evening appreciating my family for all the good that they've brought me and the camaraderie that comes with having one.


And I fixed the problem I created on Saturday morning by being honest about it on Monday morning.

The Bottom Line:
In the little things as well as the big things be truthful to yourself, in the end you'll be better off because of it.

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