Tuesday, June 17, 2014

When No One Is Watching...

My golf partner and long-time friend has said it on more than one occasion: "You can tell a lot about a person by whether they fill in their divots." For those of you who aren't golfers, when a good golfer (and that lets both Jerry and me out) hits a shot with an iron from the fairway, they take a small piece of turf with the shot. They're supposed to either put back the divot (you'll notice caddies on the pro tour doing this) or fill in the defect from a sand bottle on the cart (for the rest of us).

Despite what they should do, there are some golfers who don't fill in their divots or rake a sand trap after playing out of it. Recently I encountered evidence that a person walking their dog in our neighborhood didn't pick up the "leavings" after the dog decided to deposit them. I can think of other instances where, when no one is watching, there may be a temptation to let our responsibilities slide. It's whether you do the right thing, even when no one sees, that says a lot about your character.

In a way, of course, someone is always watching. I'm reading a novel featuring the detective, Harry Bosch (named after the painter, Heironymus Bosch) in which one of Bosch the painter's works includes a Latin inscription that roughly translates "God is watching." Remember this the next time you're tempted to let something slide just because no one appears to be watching.

How about you? What things tempt you to leave them undone (or perhaps to do them) when you don't think anyone is watching.

(photo via freedigitalphotos.net)


Patricia Bradley said...

Almost anything when I'm tired, but I usually end up doing what I'm supposed to do. It's the way I was brought up. Sometimes I wonder if I was diligent in passing that on to my children. I hope so.

Richard Mabry said...

Patricia, if you teach that mindset to your children, you've done a good job shaping their character (which, after all, is really just a reflection of what you do when no one is watching).
Thanks for your comment.