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We often judge others on the decisions they make, whether good or bad.  However, I’m finding that it’s hard for us to really know what we would do in a similar situation until the instance occurs.  Sometimes our best judgment is hindered because of personal need or desire.  Other times, we fail to think about the potential impact of our decisions on others.

I was recently on a small shopping venture.  For some reason, yellow has become this year’s favorite spring color.  As a result, I was on a hunt to find a yellow jacket and blouse.  After some weeks of browsing stores, I finally found a boutique with both items.  In good shopping fashion, I also found a cute pair of shorts to add to my purchase.

When I approached the check-out counter, the sales associate rang up my items.  For some reason, the purchase amount seemed lower than expected.  I initially disregarded the purchase price, because it’s not out of the ordinary for this particular store to have additional discounts.  However, when I reviewed the receipt after leaving the store, I realized that the sales associate only rang up two of three items purchased.

My initial instinct was to go back into the store to have the sales associate ring up the third item.  Then my mind starting rationalizing the fact that it wasn’t my fault that the sales associate failed to ring up the item.  Maybe this was a blessing from God.  Yep, I said it, “maybe it was a blessing from God.”  Now, we all know that the right thing to do was to go back to the sales associate to have her ring up the item that she missed.  However, I chose to drive home with my three items.

On the drive home, the conviction started sinking in.  As a result, I thought that it would be a good idea to call a few good friends and get their feedback. Maybe, I was reading too much into this situation. Well, all of my friends agreed that the free item had to be returned to the store for purchase.  Of course, I knew the answer to this question before I posed it to my friends, but I found it hard initially to do the right thing.

The next day I returned to the store.  The sales associate couldn’t believe that I actually came back to the store to have the blouse rung it.  She thanked me for my honesty and applied a 20% discount to the blouse and gave me a free recycle bag.  In addition, the two items that I had previously purchased were an additional percentage off.  So, it all worked out in the end.  However, I couldn’t help but be disappointed in myself for not doing the right thing initially.

This was a critical life lesson for me.  Sometimes we need to take a step back before we judge the actions of others.  If placed in a similar situation, we just may not do the right thing.