What do you do when what you’re doing is not enough to earn you what your’re getting? Or you don’t pay for what you’ve purchased? Or you don’t do your part for a group project?
But you get it anyway?
For example: Husband and I went to Lowe’s to pick up some high priced items for the house. Including doors. We had to go through one of the service desks to order one, and get the others out of stock. Because one door had to be ordered everything was written up as a special order. The lady said we would pay for it there, at the service desk. Then realized we were taking everything but the one item with us. So it was written up as a special order but to be paid for at the exit registers. We continued shopping for some smaller items and went to the front register where our bigger items had been delivered by the service desk. The lady in the front said “that’s one hundred and forty eight dollars”. I looked at her and she looked at me and husband. We pointed to everything and she said “it’s already paid for”. We told her it wasn’t. She showed us the “special order” slip, which , when customers have one of those it means it is paid for. We assured her it was not. She checked and said “wow you could have walked out of here and had all of this for one hundred and forty eight dollars”. Husband responds “I couldn’t live with myself every time I opened that door”. Pointing at the doors on the large cart. We both feel that way. We’ve returned to stores to give back change we’ve been over refunded.
It’s not ours. We didn’t pay for it. We didn’t earn it.
Whether it’s “their” mistake or not. It’s not right to profit off of, or take advantage of someone else’s mistake. Especially if it is going to cost that person.
When you leave a fast food establishment, or a dry cleaners, or a grocery store with more change than you are entitled, it is coming out of someone else’s pocket. And most likely the kid standing behind the counter. Or the single mom. Or the person working two or three jobs to support their family. Whoever they are, they have a story and can’t afford for me to not be honest.
This kind of dilemma is easy. Right is right.
But what about the dilemma that is not costing anyone anything? The kind of life situation that doesn’t “hurt” anyone. It’s objective and there is no cut and dry way to achieve a goal. There is a “path” but everyone’s path is different. It’s not going to cost anyone anything. No one pays any price if someone else does it differently. Take a marathon for example. Thousands and thousands of people run marathons every year. Some people truly live to run and put all of their resources in to it. Their body and mind are fined tuned to everything they can do to make them better runners, more efficient, nutritionally well tuned, every second is devoted to making their running experience their life experience.
Other runners have plans. They stick to them. They run three times a week. Or five. They follow the rule of “rest days”. They hydrate and they stay aware of the healthy benefits of eating right and exercising.
Other runners are new. They don’t feel like runners. But their goal, for whatever reason, is to run a marathon. Every marathon likely has the dedicated to being a marathoner. Others are runners. Other want to run a marathon to say they did it.
None of them wrong.
But none of them taking the path of someone else. They each are doing their own plan, to reach their own goals.
The only thing they have in common is to run the marathon. They all must run 26.2 miles to say they ran a marathon.
Is any one of these runners less of a marathoner, than any of the others?
If they finish, are they not a marathoner?
My dilemma is a very personal one. If I train four months and run a marathon and finish it am I really a marathoner? Or did I just run? If I don’t put the level of training in to something, or the effort, or the time, or the sameness of anything….. am I really accomplishing what that person has earned? If I could have, or should have, or use to, do more to achieve a goal…. Don’t I still have to?
Am I bringing down the value of what they have done, by not doing the same?
And by the way, this has absolutely nothing to do with a marathon.