Correct errors that hurt others.

Many years ago I did a really disgusting thing.

I went into a grocery store to make a small purchase–I forget what. I handed the cashier a $5 bill. She must’ve thought I’d given her $50, because she gave me back over $45.

At the time, I thought to myself: “Score!” I walked out of the store without saying anything. It was incredibly selfish.

I’m sure that grocery clerk ended up suffering the consequences of her error–and my selfishness. At worst, she was fired, or that money was docked from her paycheck. At best, she got into trouble with her supervisor.

What I did long ago still bothers me today.

An important good deed would be to correct errors that hurt others, when you can.

These errors might involve money, they might involve reputation, they might involve relationships or even a person’s safety. These errors might be completely accidental. People are imperfect and prone to mistakes. Mishaps and misunderstandings happen. But not doing the right thing when damaging errors come to light makes a bad situation worse.

Doing the right thing halts a toxic chain reaction.

And it eases the conscience. Better than a few words written many years later.

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