Posted by: monsonmadness | October 23, 2011

Honesty versus dishonesty

No matter where you are in the world, you will find people that are extremely honest, and you will find people who are very dishonest. These traits can be found irrespective of culture, tradition, religion or anything else. I believe that every human knows right from wrong and each person gets to choose whether they will be honest or not.

I had examples of both sides of the spectrum on Wednesday. Somebody that I work with and know, (although I don’t know who) went into my classroom, took the wallet out of my bag, took all my money out, and put the wallet back as if nothing had happened.

I didn’t discover this until after school. I drove straight from school to fill up with gas. I put $50 of gas in and went inside to buy some donuts for the kids because they had been so good waiting for me to finish a teacher’s meeting at school. The lady put 8 donuts in a bag for me and asked me for $2. I pulled out my wallet and was blown away to find no money inside. Remember the post about me always being prepared? I NEVER leave myself less than $20 in my wallet, EVER, and since most places in American Samoa don’t take credit cards, I’ve started carrying a lot more cash around with me now. I know I had about $70 in my wallet, and now it was totally empty. I apologised to the lady, and told her that I had no money. Although I was able to pay for my gas with a credit card, she couldn’t accept it for the donuts, so I told her to put them back. She told me that I should take the donuts, and then I could come back the next day to give her the $2.

What a difference. There’s one person who takes all my cash because they think they need it more than I do (correct assumption, and I’m grateful they didn’t take my credit cards, but it still doesn’t make it right), and then there’s another person who gives me food for free, hoping that I am honest enough to come back and pay for it the next day. I’m glad both of these experiences happened together, because the kindness of the donut lady really helped me to stay calm and collected about whoever stole my money from school.

Since Wednesday, it has been difficult for me to not “guess” who took my money, and to not be judgemental of those I work with. Innocent until proven guilty right? Sure, I’m no idiot and I now carry my bag around with me at recess and every time I leave the classroom, but I did find it tricky to not be suspicious and have bad feelings. I realised that I wasn’t being honest with myself and what I believe. I needed to be more like the donut lady who gave me the benefit of the doubt and assumed that I was an honest person. No matter what happens to us, and no matter how justified we may feel, we need to remember that it only matters how we act and how we respond to others. I’m grateful for the lesson, and here’s to treating everyone around me with love and respect.

ps, the donuts were delicious.


  1. Helen,
    Thank you for your wonderful blog. It entertains me immensely and I look forward to reading of your family escapades. I also am reminded about how we are supposed to live. Your attitude is amazing, I would not be so reasonable if someone had stolen from me.Thank you for reminding me to be more understanding. Keep up the good work.
    Cindy Harris

    • Thanks Cindy. I wasn’t reasonable at first either, had to learn a lesson to get there!

  2. Wow- that sucks about the money. That would be so hard to not judge and be angry. But the donut lady was awesome! Thanks for sharing- I always learn a lot from your experiences and attitudes too.

  3. The Sunday School lesson I taught our group of 10 year-old primary kids today was also on honesty and dishonesty. Nice timing! The scriptural passage was Acts 4: 32 through Acts 5:10. Until preparing this lesson, I hadn’t remembered reading this story about a saint named Barnabus who honestly gave of his wealth, versus a dishonest couple Ananias and Sapphira, who lied to an apostle and stole from the Lord. The ending is a shocker! If you ever find out who stole your money, you could offer this passage of reading as a helpful hint and maybe your wallet will be safe from then on!

    • Ha! That’s hilarious. The Ananias and Sapparia story is one of my kid’s favorites to act out for scripture charades. They love that one!!!!

  4. It’s hard not to get down on humanity when things like that happen. With Ryan being a police officer, I find him to be very negative about human nature and I try to be a bit more positive. I hate it when he is proven right.

  5. I love your attitude, Helen, but I know I would be suspicious, too. It makes me so mad that people will do that.

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