What’s The Reflection You See In The Mirror Worth?

by Tammy Taylor

In any business there’s ample opportunity to get ahead at someone else’s expense.  That little voice in your head that says “C’mon, no one’s looking.  Besides, EVERYONE’S doing it!  It’s the nice guy who finishes last!” 

I’d be lying if I said that voice doesn’t whisper to me just as much as it does to the next guy.  But I can say that I remain PROUD of the image I see in the mirror looking back at me.  I won’t compromise my principles to get ahead.

Being proud of your reflection in the mirror is important. Honesty, integrity and fairness when dealing with others. #TexasHomesteader

There have been times in the corporate workplace where I’ve been the unfortunate recipient of other people’s compromises of principles.  Despite it all, I’ve held my head high.

I stuck to my values even though it wasn’t popular with my less-than-honest boss or co-workers.

Opportunities To Get Ahead Dishonestly

But it’s not only in the corporate world with co-workers ready to step on your back on their way up the corporate ladder that requires you steel yourself against temptation.  The opportunity presents itself in our ranching life as well.  Let me give you an example:  A while back we went to a cattle auction to purchase our first round of spring stocker calves.  We chased the bid a few times until it went out of our budget.

But we finally ended up with about 5-6 nice stocker calves weighing about 400 lbs each.  I stood in line & paid our bill.  Then we pulled the truck into the loading area to have our calves loaded onto our trailer.

An Error Was Found On Our Bill

After the calves were loaded & we were pulling away I scanned the receipt.  But the bill showed an obvious incorrect weight – an error of about $300 in our favor.

I brought this to RancherMan’s attention and we immediately navigated our truck to the side of the building.  Then we went back inside to the counter & stood in line again.

When I reached the counter I told the clerk that I felt there was an error on our bill.  She exclaimed that the scales had stuck and several calves were incorrectly calculated.

I was so proud when she said several other ranchers had already been back inside to bring the error to their attention from their own bills.  Good folks!

A little bit later, a friend of ours who had apparently noticed the scale malfunction called us to see what the outcome was on that calf.  We told him that we were under billed about $300.  So we’d gone back in & brought the error to the attention of the auction staff, had our bill corrected and paid them the balance due.

Being proud of your reflection in the mirror is important. Honesty, integrity and fairness when dealing with others. #TexasHomesteader

Now this friend has the same honesty mindset that we do. He was proud that we had done the right thing even though “no one was looking”.

It felt good to know that I could gaze back at the reflection I saw in the mirror and know I stood behind my principles and did the right thing.

What’s the value of that reflection in the mirror?  Priceless.

~TxH~

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23 thoughts on “What’s The Reflection You See In The Mirror Worth?

  1. Helene

    We never know what our honesty is going to mean to someone! If several people had errors the owners were going to be out a lot of money!

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Exactly! And apparently there were several errors that day. It did my heart good to see so many good folks standing in line to get their bills corrected too! ~TMH~

      Reply
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  4. Katie

    Trading in our integrity for any reason- whether it be a $300 scale error or a forgotten item in a Walmart shopping cart- is never worth it. I agree with the poster above that it is sad that we have to take note of honesty these days because the mindset of getting away with something feels momentarily good- but I’d rather feel TRULY good about my choices than about a deal I dishonestly scored! Thanks for your honesty. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Your comment is sweet Katie, but honesty isn’t as rare as we sometimes think it is. I’m sure there’s often temptation when the scales tip in error in your favor but many folks do the right thing, and the more we bring it to the forefront my hope is the more it will become the social norm. ~TMR~

      Reply
  5. Joanne Viola

    You are so right – at the end of the day, we are left with the reflection in the mirror. May we see integrity every time we look! Great post! Visiting from Sincerely Paula’s.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Joanne, I love your phrase “May we see integrity every time we look”. What a wonderful world, huh? ~TMR~

      Reply
  6. Gentle Joy

    This is a great testimony…………..although I find it sad that part of the reason it is so “great” is that such honesty is uncommon. Sad that we live in a world where the norm is “Hey, I didn’t make them give me a break.” or “They have so much, they’ll never miss it.” “I need it more than they do.” etc. I LOVE hearing of what you and your husband did and I am so thankful anytime I see such. We, too, practice this…. and I have brought a wrong amount to the cashier’s notice many times…..causing me to pay more….or gone back inside the store to return a little money that was overpaid to me…..or helped a garage saler to add it correctly so that I didn’t get a WAY better deal than they intended to give. The sad thing is that so many of these times, people have been shocked/surprised that I would do such a thing….again it sad that they so rarely see it that they are shocked. I have now seen my children – both the young ones and the older ones, do the same thing. I am hearing reports from my older children that they were told, “Your parents raised you right.” and more. Obviously, that feels good. Our culture rationalizes things so easily….and we Christians can get caught in that trap also. Thank you so much for sharing this……….and for being honest. 🙂 By the way, whenever I click on one of your posts and see that old barn and realize it is your blog….I feel like I am visiting a friend. 🙂 Love your integrity.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I was pleased to see there were other ranchers standing in line with me to correct the error so honesty isn’t as rare as we sometimes think it is. Unfortunately dishonesty gets all the press so it’s good to put a reminder out there that it’s not always like that. I love that even along the blogsphere we can form friendships, and I love that all my commenters are always so thoughtful and considerate! ~TMR~

      Reply
  7. Marty

    One time I picked up a dead flower that had fallen off the plants at the nursery. It would have been thrown away obviously but I knew I was going to go home and plant the seeds so I made sure I told the clerk that I had it. She looked at me as if I was crazy but it would have felt wrong otherwise. Peace of mind when looking in the mirror is a great feeling.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Awww Marty – I don’t think there’s ever an apology for being too honest. Good for you! ~TMR~

      Reply
  8. Carol J. Alexander

    You cannot put a price on integrity in today’s world. Good for you. Thanks for sharing with the HomeAcre hop.

    Reply
  9. Texas Homesteader Post author

    Awww Heather – it’s like we’re twin spirits of the same heart. I loved reading your story and like you I’m honest almost to a fault. (but LOVE it) I’ve had my honesty cost me professionally a few times in the corporate world, something I still can’t quite wrap my head around. But that mirror reflection is priceless and I sleep well at night – I will NOT compromise it for anyone! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your thoughts. ~TMR~

    Reply
  10. Heather May

    What a great “thinking” piece! When I was in the corporate world..in interviews, I would always say that my honesty was my biggest fault. I eagerly would call my boss and taddle on myself when necessary and would never cheat to be successful. I decided that if I wasn’t successful- it was either not meant to be or my fault. Cheating would make it one of those AND a personal failure…Why add insult to injury! I never lost a job because of it and certainly didn’t have to watch my back. I don’t believe in Karma but certainly that we are being watched and when we are honest and truthful, we are rewarded. My mirror is certainly clear and sleeping at night is much easier! Thank you for being another…”honest to a fault” type of person!

    Reply
  11. Heather M

    A “deal” never feels like a real deal when it isn’t gotten fair and square. Good job going back and getting it fixed.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Agreed Heather. It’s more like stealing. Whatever gain could have been made by stealing is NOT worth the price of the reflection in the mirror. ~TMR~

      Reply
  12. Jan

    I also used to work at a cattle auction. Those were some of the best times ever. You have a beautiful ranch. You should be very proud!

    Reply

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