Would you tell?

I hosted a party this recently and you know how it is when you are hosting, running around checking, cleaning, serving, prepping …

Well at one point in the evening one of my friends came up to me and said, “I have to tell you something.”  He had a very strange look on his face.

Oh, oh.

“I broke your toilet.” he said with a sheepish grin. “I’ll come by tomorrow with a new one.”

What? You broke my toilet? Oh now, my mind is racing.  I’m not thinking about what the other guests will do, all I can think about it that Randy just put a brand new toilet seat on – an expensive, automatic shut down, state of the art toilet seat on. Crap.  Excuse the pun.  🙂

We’ve had our plain old seat for 15 years with no problem and now my party is making more work for my husband.  Excellent.  🙁

Nonetheless, I’m the host and I’m busy, I tell him not to worry and then I don’t worry either. In fact, I totally forgot about it until the next morning when when my daughter asked what happened to ‘her’ toilet?

When I checked it out, I was so embarrassed, it was cracked clean on through! People had used the toilet with the broken seat all night – somebody could have lost a crucial body part in the shape it was in.

Should I send out a mass email to the party goers, “Ahhh, sorry about that seat folks, it was fine when the party started. I wasn’t out to get you, really!”

The following afternoon, true to his word, my buddy dropped off a shiney new toilet seat and even though it wasn’t the automatic kind, it was ‘crack resistant’ which is probably better anyway!   🙂

Upon reflection, I thought about how easy  (not to mention cheaper) it would have been for him not to say anything to me. There were lots of people there and when I eventually would have discovered the ‘incident’ I would never have known who was the unlucky person to have it go crack.

What would you have done? It sure would be convenient to stay quiet.

Integrity, truth, friendship  – that’s what this says to me.

Fessing up; even if it’s not your fault.

Telling the truth; even if it’s embarrassing, even if it’s easier not to.

Being a good friend; knowing that it will all be good in the end.

Yes folks, the code has been cracked, lessons for life can be learned everywhere; even in the bathroom, even from a toilet seat.

Integrity, truth, friendship. How do you show those qualities in your day to day life.

Don’t let these statements become part of your vernacular:

  • Everybody does it.
  • It’s just this once.
  • They’ll never know.
  • It’s just a small thing.
  • Hope x doesn’t find out.
  • Whew, squeaked by on that one
Integrity, truth, friendship. There is no room for grey here. The seat may have cracked but I have a renewed respect for my friend.

Stephanie Staples, CSP* is the author of When Enlightening Strikes – Creating a Mindset for Uncommon Success and an internationally acclaimed motivational speaker. She empowers audiences & clients across North America to bring their ‘A’ game to work and to life. Stephanie has a special interest in working with and empowering nurses and healthcare providers. She happily calls Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada home.  You can get loads of complimentary resources to help with issues such as work/life balance, wellness, stress management and happiness in general, as well as find out more information about her coaching and speaking services at http://www.YourLifeUnlimited.ca.

* Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), conferred by the National Speakers Association is the speaking profession’s international measure of professional platform proficiency. Less than 10 percent of speakers have earned this credential and are recognized as some of the best in their fields. Stephanie was one of only five professional speakers in  Canada (and the only woman) to attain this designation in 2013.





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