You Decide

Why do we do what we finally do when we have to make a moral choice, knowing that there is obviously a right and a wrong way to handle a situation?
The simple answer is that most people believe we have an inner conscience to guide us, and it will let us know when we stray, that our religion demands the absolute truth or perhaps because it sets an example for others to follow who might be influenced by our actions.  Or maybe we perform as we do because we believe that Someone is watching. I recently observed a collision of the two options.
The dining experience was pleasant; the service was beyond expectations and the food satisfying.  Since it was an early lunch, most patrons were yet to arrive except for several early birds like my two friends, both early diners since the menu prices were lower at that serving hour.  Wait time then was minimal so the service was prompt and since the meal was completed, the waitress left the ticket on the table, expressing her pleasure in having served the guests.
Normally the ticket would not have been examined closely, extra coffee was served so in the meantime the principal diner picked up the bill and noticed that the waitress apparently had made a mistake; there was no charge for the coffee that had been ordered.   One might have reasoned that the mistake was not the fault of the guests and simply paid and left.  But was this the right thing to do?  The amount of the savings was insignificant so why even make an issue of it?
The two discussed how the issue should be handled.  One suggested that if the mistake were caught, the tip-dependency waitress might be required to make compensation, hardly fair it was felt.
The comments at the time had nothing to do with whether it would be morally the right thing to do.  The debate continued, examining various possible decisions.  But the ultimate decision would be left to the credit card holder paying the bill.  What was he to do?   He understood the mistake yet to ignore it would be only a slight cost savings to him
The cashier greeted the two patrons, asked about the satisfaction of the meal and the service and prepared to ring up the ticketed amount.  It was time was a decision.  No outsider would know the outcome.
Of course there was never any doubt what the decision would be, the discussion was only academic.  But if reasons had to be attributed to making the ‘right’ decision, it would boil down to a fundamental belief in honesty.  No other decision would even be considered. Then there was a secondary reason.
This was an opportunity to show by example: Do as I do not as I say.
“Example is a lesson that all men can read.”  Gilbert West
By the way, the waitress did not make a mistake.  The coffee came with the senior- discounted meal.
Matthew 5:16.
Bill Lee
PO Box 128
Hamer, SC 29547

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