Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you want to do the right thing, but there’s a chance that it could get you in trouble? That is what I want to talk about in this diary. As most of you know, most of my diaries are merely reflections of those things I go through day-to-day. And today, I want to talk about something interesting that happened this morning, and I’d like to get your thoughts on it.

My son found a credit card in a parking lot. He picked it up and brought it home. I asked him what he did with it. He said that he went online to find information about the credit card holder. He said that he called the person and left a voicemail message saying that he found his credit card in a parking lot and that he can call him back and get our address so that he can pick up his credit card. I praised him. I told him it was the right thing to do. I am proud of my son. I’ve always tried to raise him to be honest and always do the right thing.

Don’t lose your grip upon your conscience. God put it in your breast to act as sentinel over your weaknesses. ~Minna Thomas Antrim

Well, my wife heard our conversation, and she was livid. She started screaming at him and saying that what he did was really stupid. She said…

My wife: “Son, you are black. If someone made any charges on that credit card, they would accuse you of doing it. You could go to jail! The next time you see something like this, just look the other way. Let it be somebody else’s problem, not yours.”

Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

To be frank (I mean, who else could I be?), I never thought about what my wife is saying. That’s not how my mind works. She told him, “If you ever find anything that belongs to someone else, just leave it alone!” I said, “What if it’s my wallet that he finds in the parking lot?” She said, “Then it’s your fault for losing your wallet in a parking lot.”

And my son is confused now. He doesn’t know what to do.

It is not to know what to do, but strength to do it, knowing. ~Muriel Strode

I asked myself, “What if that person who lost the credit card needed it to buy food for his family? I’m sure he would be grateful to get that credit card back ASAP, especially during the Holidays.”

I talked to some friends about this, and, surprisingly, some of them agreed with my wife. They said that the best thing to do is to cut up the credit card into pieces and throw it away. That way, no one else will use it.

I told my son what my mother always used to tell me:

Whatever you do, do right, my boy;
Whatever you do, do right.
The reward you’ll have’s delight, my boy;

The reward you’ll have’s delight.

But I don’t pretend to have all the answers, and that is why I’m asking you what you would do? But I do know this…

I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am. ~Joseph Baretti

And remember…

B hopeful, B happy, B cheerful, B kind,
B busy of body, B modest of mind,
B earnest, B truthful, B firm and B fair…
B watchful, B ready, B open, B frank!

In other words, jokes are welcome!

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

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