ABUSE OF PRIVILEGE – Issues of Integrity

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Everybody likes a deal. Who doesn’t? In fact, we love to tell our friends and neighbors our “deal stories.” You know what I mean? “You’re not going to believe what happened to us! We got a discount to the concert and saved sooooo much money!!” In fact, we will play “top my story” when we talk with our friends.

I must say, it’s really cool when you receive unexpected blessings… like somebody paying for your meal anonymously. We were having lunch at a popular restaurant in Phoenix. Like most of my restaurant routines, I was focused on food and conversation, pretty much unaware of others in the place. At the end of our meal and conversation, we asked for the check to which our server responded, “Somebody already paid, including the tip.” What?? This happens to others, not to me. But it did. Those rare occurrences will make your day.

On the other hand, have you ever used your position or credentials to leverage a deal? I hate to admit this, but I have. And here’s the ugly truth of one of those situations. My kids watched me do it. We were purchasing tickets for a movie. Two of my kids were in tow and by my side. The theater gave a discount to active military personnel. In one of my more regrettable parenting decisions, I pressed the cashier asking if I could get a discount because “I do so much for the community.” How lame is that? The poor cashier was confused and my kids were embarrassed… as they should have been. I ended up embarrassed by my actions myself and then asked forgiveness for my idiocy.

We won’t always make perfect decisions, but this unfortunate event reminded me that I have to lead the way in asking forgiveness when there’s offense. It was also a reminder that our children are sponges, absorbing and observing everything around them… our conversations… our conflicts… and our choices, good and bad.

What’s the take home for me? Don’t abuse privilege or the credentials you may have as a leverage point to manufacture a blessing or advantage. Somebody’s watching and somebody’s learning…

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