“Is this yours?” my friend asked. She had just pulled a tiny plastic ring from her purse.
I smiled and said, “Oh! I’m not sure. But if it is, you may keep it.” Her daughter had enjoyed playing at our house with some of Lindsay’s old dress up clothes–a tangled heap of glittery garments and princess accessories, which I keep in a box in our storage room.
“Nope,” my friend said with a firm smile, and held out the ring for me to look more closely. It did look vaguely familiar, though I never would have missed it. “If it was taken from your house, we’d like to return it,” she said.
Ahh… I understood now. Chuckling, I said, “Well it is such a nice ring… I can see why it would be tempting to take.” I tucked the ring into my own purse, and told my friend to promise her daughter that it would be there when she came back to play.
My friend is a good mom. When she saw her daughter with the ring, she could have said, “It’s just a trinket ring,” and shrugged it off or ignored it.
But rather, she said, “It’s just a trinket ring… today.” She held her daughter accountable and taught her the value of integrity. My friend knows that in the many tomorrows, there will be a vast array of tempting trinkets which would be easy for her daughter to slip into a chubby palm or a wallet or a swelling bank account.
How highly will this little girl value integrity? It’s the same as with you and me. The value of anyone’s integrity is determined by what we do with the trinkets of life, both big and small.