A Correction Worth A Million Dollars

This article was first created on the 28th of April, 2016 and last updated on the 23rd of April, 2016 by Patrick Carpen.

The bible tells us that “whoever loves corrections loves his own soul”, and “speak into the ears of the wise and they will get wiser”.

Related: The Bible

Indeed, we must sometimes subject ourselves to harsh corrective measures in order to elevate our conduct to the point where our ways may be considered “impeccable”.

Some people turn up their noses at the slightest bit of reproof, hearing, instead of words of wisdom, only a hostile voice.

Admittedly, there are times when people’s intention are malicious, and their words meant to wound instead of nurture; but we must be able to detect when the upbraiding is for our good, and listen to the wisdom behind those sometimes not so softly spoken words.

Some months back, I found a wallet on the ground floor of the Takutu Hotel in Lethem containing 1500 US dollars. It also contained a passport and this made me able to identify the owner of the wallet. Needless to say, thoughts flew like birds through my mind. I thought of all the wonderful things I could do with the 1500 hundred US dollars; and returning the wallet with only the passport would have been trouble free and painless.

But after mentally scanning my knowledge of the bible for a verse to justify withholding the money, and finding not a single one, I returned the wallet to the owner, with all contents intact.

The owner, Mr. Vince Canelo, who to this day remains a very good friend of mine, was elated in recovering his lost property, and overjoyed in the experience of finding honest and helpful people in the world. He stuffed a 100 US dollars note into my hand and said “take this” with a smile. I attempted to give it back, but he said “there’s no way I’m taking that back”.

Vince and I then sat down for a little conversation, and he asked me a few questions about my life and work. After some time spent talking, I showed him a book that I had just published and which was about to hit the world market in a few months.

Vince lauded my work and his daughter, Marcella, called it a “cute book”.

“If you go through that book,” I boasted. “You won’t find a single error”.

Indeed, dozens of professional eyes had scoured the pages of my book, picking out every single tidbit of error until it was deemed “flawless”.

Vince’s response was immediate. “You’re right…” he said. “I’m good with with finding errors, and indeed, it is perfect…but actually, there is one small error.”

I was a bit shocked at this point as Vince turned the pages to a line that had the word “for” left out.

Indeed, Vince really knew his talent when he said “I’m good at finding errors” because so many professional editors had missed this error.

I promptly made arrangements the following day to have the book revised and the error corrected.

I thought about the consequence if my book had hit the world market and millions of copy had been sold with this error inside…and it dawned upon me that while I did charitably give back Vince’s 1500 US dollars, he handed me in return a correction that was worth a million dollars.

Tit for tat? One good deed deserves another? Honesty pays off? Put it however it pleases you, God’s way is always the best way.

Related: Stories of My Life by Patrick Carpen

Related: Spirituality by Patrick Carpen

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