Guilt & Making Amends: I Stole Something!


August 17, 2012

I stole something.

I did.

I was standing in line at the drug store and the Chapstick display was there; calling to me, making me want to have some.  I knew I did not have the money for it, but I wanted the grape-flavored Chapstick more than anything.  My hands were sweaty and my heart was racing.  So, I took it.  I just grabbed one and stuffed it in my pocket.

I got out to the car and already felt guilty.  Well, I probably began feeling guilty the moment I decided to take it, but by the time I was in the car, I was in full-on regret mode.  I  was 7 years old and scared to tell my dad I had just taken something that I shouldn’t have.  So we drove away.

I never did open that Chapstick.  I couldn’t.  There was no way I could enjoy it with the heavy weight of the guilt.  I hid the Chapstick in my dad’s car and waited until the next time he was going to that store.  Then, I returned it to the shelf.  I never stole again and my conscience was clear.  Well….as clear as it can be considering I have such a vivid memory of it all these years later.

Heavy topic for a Friday, but how many times do you do something that you later feel guilty about?  Maybe you’ve:

  • Done something to undermine a colleague
  • Said something to a friend that was hurtful and you did it anyway
  • Misled a client, co-worker, friend or family member
  • Taken something that was not yours
  • Ignored the needs of someone close to you
  • Gossiped about information you think you know that may or may not be correct

We are all guilty.  

Maybe today is the day you take that step to make amends.  Probably a better use of your time than just about anything else you can do.

Clear your conscience.

Make things right.

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About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.


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