No. 9 - NO $12.00 SEWING MACHINE

No. 9

We know from personal experience, as well as observing the lives of other people, that if we are to achieve true and lasting success our lives and our careers must be built on a solid foundation of truth and integrity.
For example, how many times do you have to catch another person in an outright lie before you would begin to doubt everything else they say? The answer to that question is once, because from that point on there will always be an unmistakable breach in his or her credibility. Some time ago I heard a humorous story I believe really illustrates the importance of credibility. This is supposedly a true story and I heard it at my deer camp, in Drew County, Arkansas.
In the early 1930s during the great depression, a woman from a rural southeast Arkansas community was married to a man who was from near Trenton, Tennessee. Times were really tough for this couple over in Tennessee and some of this woman's relatives in Arkansas learned of their condition.
As a result of the news, Uncle Babe, one of her uncles, took it upon himself to get in touch with this the couple and he painted a very optimistic picture. He said, "Luther", we want you and Aire Mae to load up and come to Arkansas. We can raise a cotton crop together and there are plenty of wild hogs in the woods here, so we can have lots of fresh meat. In fact, prices in town are very reasonable. You can even get a new sewing machine for $12.00 and prices on other things are reasonable, too."
When Luther heard the good news, he thought he had died and gone to heaven! In fact, he couldn't wait to get loaded up and headed out. They traveled the better part of two days in an old Model A Ford and got to her uncle's house late at night. Naturally, they had to wake everybody. When they all got up and were sitting around talking, Luther said, "Uncle Babe, the first thing in the mornin' can we go out and get one of them wild hogs? Me and Aire Mae ain't had any fresh meat in months, and as soon as we get settled, I'll be ready to start that cotton crop."
Uncle Babe was on the spot, so he said, "Sure, Luther, we'll go out first thing in the mornin'." After breakfast Uncle Babe got out his twenty-two pistol and they headed out through the woods in the back of the house. Before long they came upon some hogs and Uncle Babe picked out a good one and took aim and fired. He was a crack shot and the hog fell almost in its tracks. At this point, he turned to Luther and said, "Here, hold this gun!", and he grabbed the hog, slung it over his shoulder and started running.
Luther said, "how come you're in such a hurry, Uncle Babe, we got us a wild hog, ain't we?" Uncle Babe said, "Yeah, but I don't think the folks who own this hog will understand." You see, Uncle Babe had shot someone else's hog! As they were running through the woods, Luther said to himself, "Humph! I bet there ain't no $12.00 sewing machine, either."
This is a clear case of where Uncle Babe had told a lie and as a result he lost his credibility with Luther. The moral of this true story is simple: if we want to have credibility with another person, unless it would bring unmerited harm to ourselves or others, we must always tell the truth. If we don't tell the truth, in every area of our lives, we are building the foundation for our future on sand and when the storms of adversity come along, it will not stand the test of time. What goes around comes around. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)