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Honesty is its Own Reward (by Jason Greenblatt)

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An online news magazine told a moving “honesty story”. The story is of 52 year old California man Joe Cornell with “nothing to his name” who, nonetheless, when coming across $125,000 that was not his own, made the decision to return the money rather than take it.

He was watering trees on the lot of a Salvation Army facility where he stays for drug addiction treatment. He noticed an odd scene as a car honked at an armored truck, the truck stopped, the drivers exchanged words and the truck pulled away. His curiosity sparked him to take a look at the scene, where he spotted a large bag on the ground.

He was surprised to find that the heavy bag contained a vast amount of cash, he would later find out amounted to $125,000. When asked how he felt at the time he replied “I started crying and shaking. Everything was going through my head  – the [good/bad] thing…”

After the initial mental struggle, Cornell notified police of what he had found so the money could be returned to its rightful owner.

He wanted to set  good example for his grandkids. “I’m here trying to change my life” he said, as a man who has been to jail on a number of occasions. The company offered him a $5000 reward for his honesty.

Honesty for Honesty’s sake

No matter his past, Joe Cornell has chosen to do the right thing in his present.

The reward money is a nice thought but wasn’t on his mind when he made the decision. When confronted with the call, Joe knew the difference between the right and wrong thing to do.

The right thing was a very hard choice, but it was best for his future and that of his family. The chance to be honest and do the right thing was the real reward.

Parents, this story has several great lessons.

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, everyone has the capacity to change.

Just because someone has made mistakes in the past doesn’t mean they can’t do the right thing today. Indeed it is the people we are TODAY that matters most of all. The past cannot be changed, what we choose to do and the type of person we choose to be today is our role in the world.

It is ok to face temptation as well. Some, perhaps many people would have thought about taking the money, however it is the action we take that counts.

Set an example for your children. Returning extra change at a register or something that someone dropped on the street sows the seeds in children so that they can start to see that no matter how big or small the amount, the answer is simply to do the right thing.

Teens, when we know the difference between right and wrong we should strive to apply it to every situation in our life.

No matter what comes our way, the blueprint of morality can be applied to guide our actions.

Also important is the value of doing the right thing for its own sake.

This man may have been offered a reward and gotten some press attention for his actions, but at that moment he made the decision it was just him and the money in front of him.

Don’t expect rewards and accolades, do the right thing and act the way you would want others to act. Set an example and be the best you can be.


jason greenblatt smallJason Greenblatt is a parent of 6 children, including triplets. Both him and her wife Naomi are passionate about Parenting, Education, Helping other parents raise happy and balanced children, Giving back to the community so they created a parenting blog named www.inspireconversation.com. Jason is also Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer at The Trump Organization and Adjunct Professor of Management at Yeshiva University.

Article originally published on www.inspireconversation.com and generoulsy contributed by Jason to the On the Road To Honesty campaign.

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About Thierry Koehrlen

My mission is to completely transform both the way children learn the value of honesty and how people teach honesty to children. Let’s make it fun & efficient! Why? Learning to be "Honesty Savvy" in today's all connected world that records everything will make a very big difference in a kid’s future and will make the difference between a life of success or a life of struggle. So let's raise "honesty savvy" children so they can build a solid foundation for the rest of their life. Learn about my On the Road To Honesty children book, a totally new fun and creative way for children and adults around them to learn and discuss about honesty, trust, truth and lies and their impact on our lives. And discover On the Road to Honesty for Kids, the largest Honesty (for Kids) campaign that the internet has ever witnessed. The campaign takes place from November 2015 to Honesty Day on April 30th 2016. 40+ amazing authors and other experts are contributing unique different perspectives & practical tips about honesty. Please share these articles as much as possible so everyone can enjoy the benefits positive honesty brings to their life. And don't hesitate to contact me if you are interested to contribute an article or a quote related to honesty in one way or another.

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