I did something last week I’ve never done before – I broke something in a store. Actually, it didn’t break, it shattered – a loud, reverberating crash of a crystal lamp that found the wrong end of my purse in an otherwise empty consignment shop. Ugh, no getting out of this one.
The owner of the shop rushed over to see what happened. She never uttered the phrase, “You broke it, you bought it.” So, what do you do?
I have to admit, I didn’t want to pay for something I wasn’t taking home. There was a part of me that wanted to leave the store and never come back. I also thought about buying something else and expecting that sale to take care of the money it cost to replace the lamp. However, when I asked myself the question, “What’s the right thing to do?” There was only one answer. (And of course, I was VERY grateful that it wasn’t the $500 Tiffany lamp that was sitting next to the one I hit.)
I didn’t offer to pay – I just took out the money and handed it to her, apologizing for my mess. She was relieved and grateful, saying, “If it was my lamp, I would have just let it go, but since this is a consignment shop, it’s not mine. Thanks so much for taking care of this.”
When you have the opportunity to do the right thing, take it. You make a difference to the person you help, and you increase your own sense of self-worth. The lesson is more valuable than the price.
Do enough of the little things, and you’ll be prepared for the big things that life hands you.