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A little honesty is better than no honesty

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To help those who can’t immediately get beyond the headline, let me say that strictly speaking partial honesty is dishonesty, just like telling a part of the truth and not the whole truth is a form of lying.

However, if you were the person in the following story, who experienced a little honesty or partial honesty, you would agree that partial honesty in many cases is better than no honesty.

The attorney exited the cab with a sense of relief. She had finally reached home after a long day. But that sense of relief did not linger long, only about two minutes before it was replaced by anxiety and worry. She had left her purse in the New York City yellow cab that had taken her home.

All she could do was pray and hope; and pray she did.

It’s easy to see how it all happened. She had just seen CS Lewis’ “The Great Divorce” along with seven other female friends. Undoubtedly much conversation must have ensued after exiting the theatre as these ladies engaged each other.

All the details of the journey home would require more space than this column allows, so let me say that while in the cab she volunteered to cover the expense of the cab ride for everyone. She is an extremely generous person. As they would say, she is generous to a fault.

She paid the cab driver, while at the same time calling her husband on the phone; she then exited the cab and two minutes later she realized her mistake. She had left her purse in the yellow cab.

How would you feel if you left your purse, that was a gift from your husband and valued at approximately $1,000; plus $160 in cash, your credit cards, your train pass valued at $210, your driver’s license, your business cards and more in a New York City yellow cab?

Not a nice feeling, not a good experience to have especially at this time of the year. As she waited a number of things went through her mind. One of them was a recent experience involving her son. He was at the mall when he found a wallet and in it was a considerable amount of money.

She had taken her son and the wallet to the address that was in the wallet and left it there. She remembered thinking to herself, if I lost my wallet I would like the person who found it to return it to me. What I desire for myself is what I should do for others.

At that time, she had no idea that she would be standing in that person’s shoes in just a few weeks. But honesty is the best of policy no matter what, and, as is often said, what goes around comes around.

A few hours after she recognized that she had left her purse in the yellow cab she got an e-mail from the driver saying he was in possession of the purse. Relief and divine gratitude and thanksgiving were the dominant sentiments and expressions at the good news.

She made arrangements for him to drop it off at the security desk at her office.

The only down size to the story is that the purse came minus the one hundred and sixty dollars cash, and an attachment to the purse carrying about thirty dollars in change was detached and missing.

Now would you agree that a little honesty is better than no honesty. Imagine losing everything else in her purse and the purse. Was it the driver or a passenger that removed the money? We don’t know for sure.

She had offered him a reward prior to discovering that money was missing from the wallet and he had declined her offer. Was it guilt or just a good heart?

We don’t know and we don’t judge; but she is glad, very happy as a matter of fact for what was returned to her.

Lessons? Slow down during the rest of the holidays and the new year to make sure you don’t forget important things. Going too fast can set you back.

Pray when you can’t do anything else. And pray when you can do other things as well.

Be totally honest, not just a little honest in dealing with others.

Remember to do unto others what you would like done unto you.

Have a gratitude spirit in all things. Now, think about how wonderful the new year would be for a number of people if they only observed these lessons.

Have a blessed and prosperous New Year.

Valentine Williams is a pastor and inspirational speaker. Contact him at