Wherefore art thou honesty?

Honesty, let’s talk about this for a moment. These last few days have been interesting in this regard for me. I’m not a perfect beacon of honesty for sure – I do try, however, to be as honest as I can in situations. Let me give you three things that happened to me over the last week, I’m amazed how this stuff tends to happen in batches – and then it never happens for long periods of time.

Last week, I’m at a local coffee shop getting a coffee and a sandwich – this was going to cost about $9.00. I give the lady at the counter a $20.00 bill for this and she gives me close to $18.00 back. I don’t usually count the change, so it didn’t register right away what was happening. Once I noticed, I corrected her and got the right change. Extra money given: $7.00.

A few days later, again at a Tim Horton’s coffee shop – the noticeably tired lady at the counter took my order for a large coffee. I gave her a $20.00 bill again and she gave me $28.00 and change back. She gave me an extra $10.00 bill and I again corrected her on that. Extra money given: $10.00.

So then, last night I’m out with Danny, a friend of mine. I order wings and he orders nachos, escargot and wings – boy he was hungry. We get our bill at the end of the night and it was $15.00 and change! Danny puts a $20.00 down and we laugh our way out of the place. You know, we are well within our rights to pay what they ask us to pay – but as I was driving away I knew it just wasn’t right. I turned my truck around and told the waitress, she corrected the bill to $51.00. Apparently her mistake was to only charge for the drinks. Extra money given: $36.00.

What is most amazing is the expressions of the people that are corrected and those of the people that are around when you do this. Anything from “oh, he’s an honest person” to a sort of incredulous laugh – could they really have a hard time believing I did this?. It worries me that in our society, the opposite is the norm – and it’s actually accepted that if a person was to make a mistake that we SHOULD capitalize on it. What do you think?