A GENTLE CLASH OF BELIEFS
When she was nine, Lily lost her hat. She had others, but I loved that adorable butterfly hat and was reluctant to see it go. Weeks went by. It was definitely not in our house. She informed her classmates that I was offering a $5 reward for the hat, and within minutes it was found at school. That night, the finder’s mother called me. “Please don’t give Cole $5,” she said. “He was just helping out a friend, and he’d gladly do it for free.”
“I insist,” I said.
“Please don’t,” she said. “I’d like him to learn that there is value in being a good friend.”
“I know,” I said. “I get it. That makes sense. But,” I countered, “I would like him to learn that simply being himself will reap rewards out in the world.”
No one was right or wrong; it was a clash of beliefs. My friend was willing to let go. I had already offered the reward, and wanted to keep my word.
“If you must,” she said. I sent the money to school for him the next day. It made me feel so good—to have the hat back, and to reward Lily’s friend for being himself. Life can be easy; work can be playful. Those are beliefs. Speaking of which, I believe that, like Cole, we can be rewarded for being ourselves, for following our inner guidance.