I remember it like it was yesterday. My baby brother was about three when he came home with a pack of gum in his hands from the grocery story.
It wasn’t paid for. And by my parents’ reaction, you would have thought the bank was robbed.
Everything stopped, and three kids were loaded back up in the car for a long ride to return the gum and apologize to the store owner.
Now, at three years old, he wasn’t exactly destined for a life of crime. But he was setting up one of the most memorable dinner table lessons. My father said, “If you steal, you may as well steal millions, because the impact is the same—you’ve ruined your reputation.”
You don’t forget a moment like that.
It would have been easy to ignore it—it was no big deal. But it was a HUGE deal.
As for my brother, don’t worry—he’s a standout as an example of an ethical husband and father.
We are all faced every day with our humanity and the temptation to tell the “little white lie.” We are all tempted.
In fact, in the classic book The Day America Told the Truth, author James Patterson’s research showed that 97 percent of people lie regularly.
The question is, do you want that to be your legacy—or do you want it to be one of greatness?