Monday, August 17, 2009

Faithful With Little, Faithful With Much

Have you ever heard of people putting ball bearings into their bathroom cabinets or medicine cabinet before company comes over? Suddenly if you hear a loud clatter, you know that your guests are snoopy. You know it, they know it, and your guest's feelings of awkwardness are off the scale. Genius!

I recently read of an interesting experiment, written in a financial newsletter that follows a similar vein:

"I had a friend who would always leave a dollar bill on the floor of his office and give people time in his office alone. He told me that he was often amazed at who stuck the bill in their pockets – essentially stealing – and who would put the bill on his desk. When he applied the same test with the same people, substituting a TEN-dollar bill, the same thieves still stole, and the same honest people still put the bills on his desk.

How comfortable would you be with an accountant who arrived late, forgot his files, or didn’t return phone calls promptly? Body language, punctuality, personal grooming and dress, spelling mistakes in e-mails, website links that don’t work, foul language on Facebook – all clues. I sent someone an important e-mail to which I received no reply, however I noticed that he took the time to participate in infantile, mindless games and “look alike” sessions on Facebook.

Peoples’ choices and actions reveal their values, beliefs, and priorities, and predict how they will behave and what choices they will make when it comes to serious money and events. Someone who can steal ten dollars from you can also steal a few thousand dollars from you: faithful in little, faithful in much. If someone lacks the self-respect and self-discipline to honor their word and fulfill their obligations in small matters, they will definitely let you down when it comes to large matters. Test in a small way before spending big. Give people a few small tests and evaluate their performance. Don’t believe a word they say, but believe everything they do."

-Robin J. Elliot, Joint Adventures, # 195

I like this reminder to be faithful in the little things. I believe it applies to relationships too. How many people ignore the "small things" that should tip them off that the choice they are making in a romantic partner bodes ill? Too many I think . . .


Jay Boaz said...

The only snooping I've done in a bathroom is looking for where the toilet paper is kept! And really, I hate doing that. That's why we bought a toilet roll holder that holds 3 rolls and is next to the toilet; I always try to make sure it's full if company is coming over so they can find it!

Mark said...

I think that toilet paper exploring is legit! I wish that I had only done that but I admit I've peeked into people's medicine cabinets before (although the last time was many years ago).