No. 504



Have you ever witnessed someone doing something that you just knew was
not right? If so, how did you know? What was it that told you it was not
right? I am going to suggest for your consideration that you knew it was not
right because you have a set of standards. Those standards, whether they are
high or low, came from your parents, your teachers, your total life¹s
experiences and the culture in which you live. My standards are based on the
Bible, but this is not the case for millions and millions of people in the
world today.
I saw a good example of this when a young lady was being interviewed on
³Larry King Live² a while back. This young lady attends one of the colleges
in the Northeast and she has started a pornographic magazine. She was
personally the star attraction, with her own, almost nude, body on the front
As Larry King interviewed her in reference to her pornographic magazine,
she said several times there was nothing wrong with it. However, I got the
feeling when she said this she was trying to convince herself more than
those of us in the television audience. She also said she had the total
support of her parents, which told me a lot about where she got her
Please understand that I am not sitting in judgment here. Only God has
the right to do that. Needless to say, the concept of right and wrong is an
interesting one. Here is what William McKinley, 25th president of the United
States, had to say about it: ³Right action follows right purpose. We may not
at all times be able to divine the future ‹ but if our aims are high and
unselfish, somehow and in some way the right end will be reached.²
In most cases we know innately, like the positive and negative poles on
a battery, there is a right way and a wrong way to do things. What is not so
well known, however, is there is more than one right way to do most things,
and putting this simple concept into practice will bring all kind of good
I heard a true story a while back that will illustrate this concept. It
seems a man and his wife in one of our western states had a horse farm and
raised Tennessee Walking Horses. Working part time, after school and on
weekends on the farm for this couple was a young boy by the name of Jimmy.
Jimmy loved to be around the horses, was earning a little extra money and
having the time of his life.
Then one day Jimmy came to work crying. When the man who owned the horse
farm asked what was the matter, he said, ³I didn¹t even know it was up for
sale, but my parents have sold our house and we are going to work all night
tonight loading a moving van, and will move to another state far away, and
never come back.² He went on to say, ³I never told you this, but I would
have worked here for nothing. I just loved to be around the horses.² He then
began to name off all the colts, and he went on to say that he didn¹t know
how he could live without them.
That same afternoon the man who owned the horse farm was down at the
bank and he got a brand new $50 bill and then went to a nearby store and
bought a little billfold and had Jimmy¹s name engraved on it. Then he had it
gift-wrapped. Later, when he paid Jimmy his final wages, he gave him this
little gift and told him that maybe during the summer if his parents would
let him, he could back and live with them and work with the horses again.
Well, this fellow said he didn¹t know how long it took Jimmy to unwrap
his gift, but the next morning the moving van was parked out in front of his
house. There was Jimmy sitting on the steps, waiting for him to get up. He
said he wanted to thank him ³personal.² Jimmy thanked him ³personal² and
said, ³You may not believe this, but this is the first $50 bill I ever saw.
I bet there aren¹t many of them, are there? I bet that¹s the reason it¹s so
new.² He was so proud of his gift, the money and the personally embossed
billfold with his name on it.
A few days later, the wife of the man who owned the horse farm commented
about how much happiness this small gift had brought Jimmy. Much more so
than five old $10 bills in a wad, with a rubber band wrapped around them.
This simple story clearly demonstrates the principle that there is more than
one right way to do something. One way has style, class and dividends. The
other way, while still the right thing to do, has no style, no class and no
dividends. We just naturally remember those people who do things right, with
that little extra measure thrown in. These people have class and style and
this sets them apart from the crowd.
When it comes to the fact there is always more than one way to do the
right thing, begin to look for opportunities to add to the happiness of
others. We can apply this in so many different ways. This may sound corny,
but it¹s just corny enough to work.
(Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You
may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)