Who doesn’t dream about winning the lottery? A Spanish shopkeeper just found a winning lottery ticket abandoned in his store’s Lost and Found box. It’s worth over 6 million dollars!
So, what did he do? He immediately took it to local authorities so they could locate the winner. He decided that if he kept it for himself he wouldn’t have been able to sleep at night.
Think of it, and ask yourself: “Which would be more valuable to me, six million dollars or being able to sleep at night?” He likely meant more than sleep, probably referring to honesty, etc. But let’s just leave it at that. What’s more valuable to you, the money or the sleep?
Man is sometimes defined as the “rational animal,” but might more accurately be described as the “rationalizing animal.” Just follow the possible self-talk: “I found it, and possession is 9/10th of the law. I deserve it. I’ve been working hard all these years, blah, blah, blah. And with this money I can do so many wonderful things. Sleeping? I’ll get the best medicine, experts can help me; I can solve that problem. If it’s just my conscience, well, I’ll donate some of the money. Just think of how much good I can do with this!”
And on it goes. It recalls that quote, sometimes mistakenly credited to Shakespeare but actually penned by Sir Walter Scott: “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!”
Honesty, on the other hand, is ever simple, as this gentleman demonstrates. Not my ticket, let’s find the real winner. Of course, this path makes him the real winner because he’s just taken a giant evolutionary step. When confronted with an opportunity to choose between honesty and deception he embraced personal growth.
What that’s worth – in terms of his personal life journey and in dollars - is beyond calculation by any human mind.