Tuesday, 21 October 2014

A Lesson in Honesty and Parenting

At the weekend I had to go out to run a few errands with my husband. Our son wanted to stop at home with his big sister but we knew he would waste his time playing computer games or something similar, so we insisted he come with us. We tried to explain to him that he might learn some important skills in life by simple observation, like seeing how his parents do the shopping - just through seeing how we talk to people and make our decisions.

One of our stops was at the local supermarket to go back and explain that they had undercharged us  - the previous week after checking our receipt we had realised that they had not charged us for a pan. My husband and son went into the supermarket whilst I stayed in the car reading my 'Teach Yourself Arabic' book. They were a long time. To my surprise, when I looked up, my son was presenting me with a beautiful bunch of flowers. Apparently the display of honesty had caused a bit of a stir and the shop attendant disappeared for a while - I can imagine my husband's feelings as he was left standing for some time thinking to himself 'I only want to make a payment, wish they would hurry up I have a lot of things to do!' - and then his surprise when she came back with a bunch of flowers to say thanks.

My first reaction was "Alhamdulillah, that you came with us and witnessed this lovely lesson in life". It also gave me the opportunity to explain to my son that even had we not received the flowers, God saw all. These things happen to us as a test. God gives and God takes away: we may not have told the supermarket about their mistake, but we could have lost twice as much the next day, alternatively the supermarket may not have shown any gratitude, but for sure God sees and rewards us with blessings sooner or later for our good actions. And most importantly, it doesn't matter if it is a few pence or many pounds: taking (or keeping) what is not yours is stealing, and once you cross that line, there will be nothing stopping you stealing something much larger the next time.

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