07 December 2008

the honor system

during yesterday's serendipitous shopping trip, a remarkable thing happened to me. as i approached a shopkeeper with my arms full of purchases and my credit card extended, she pointed to the sign by the register. cash or check only, it read. or honor system.
"just send me a check later," the shopkeeper says.
"are you kidding?" i question.
"nah, i do it all the time," she says.
"you don't even know me!" i exclaim in disbelief. "how do you know you'll get paid back?"
she replies, "hey - it's your karma..."
so i charged $61.19 in amazing items to a person i've never met and perhaps will never see again. and her check will go out in tomorrow's mail along with my sincere gratitude for her kindness and her trust. but the striking thing about the experience is the feeling of awe i am left with, even a day later. i am eagerly anticipating paying that kindness forward. maybe even two or three times.


Anonymous said...

Refreshing. You don't see that in today's world very often, do you?

My grandpa had an orchard in New Jersey, and he put the baskets of fruit on a stand out by the road along with the prices and a tin can. We just kept picking throughout the day, and in the evening, he emptied the can.

He taught us to stick by our word and be absolutely honest, to work hard (and not dilly-dally on bathroom breaks either!), and to sing while we work.

Let us know what shop it is, and maybe we could tell her you recommended her special place to us. cb

chris said...

i have bought tomatoes and cucumbers using the honor system - but never an armful of books and toys.

your comment made me smile - apples, kids picking and singing. and it made me laugh - my grandmother used to use the phrase "dilly-dally" - and i haven't heard it in ages!!

Anonymous said...

that gives one faith in humanity. not too long ago that was very common here in Spain and, i'm sure, it still is in some places. joanna

Anonymous said...

Now there is a Christmas story!

Anonymous said...

Great website and wonderful story of the wonder of humanity. Sometimes we forget the true goodness of people when all we generally see in the media is the down side of people.

Enjoyed the visit.