“Don’t Say A Word”, My First Lesson In Morals

1156 words - 5 pages

As a child lessons about life, morality and everything within the realms of goodness should come and often do, from your parents to include the parental role models in your life. You take these lessons for granted accepting them because your youth means purity, usually unaware of the differences of good and evil until the magical age of cognizance happens. My Uncle Ken, for whom I thought hung the moon and stars until I knew better, taught my first lesson in morality to me. While on a simple shopping trip to a local department store and along with my older brother, Ray, we were excited about the adventure, as we had always known our uncle to be fun and amusing as well as generous. We never expected to get anything out of the trip; spending fun time with the uncle was enough for us. As we carted though the store, rambling through all aisles after aisle, Uncle Ken eventually reached for a toy off the shelf. It was some type of sphere that chimed when you shook it and had all types of bobbly things within that rocked to and fro. He scraped the price tag off, scoured the aisle back and forth, leaned over began grating the toy on the ground thrusting it into the lap of his baby daughter, whispering to his pint size witnesses, “Don’t say a word.” I didn’t understand. The shopping trip continued with a few other items in which he would switch the price tags on or ding up a little and ask a manager for the goods to be discounted. Noticing a facial expression from the manager of what I later came to understand as suspicion as we ended our shopping trip. Still very confused, we reached the check out where dear fun Uncle Ken, claimed to the innocence of the clerk the sphere like object was already a favored toy by my cousin and he revealed to her the staged scuffmarks, bringing about the appearance of and aged toy. Ding! It was clear to me; fun Uncle Ken was a cheat. I had never witnessed such behavior. My mother was a loving devoted Mom and wife; my Dad was scary and mean. Life was not perfect in my household but cheating never seemed to be an option in it. This one moment in time changed my opinion about my uncle forever and he has chosen to live his entire life by cheating, manipulation and getting one over on someone else all to his benefit.
The same sickening feeling, new to me in the Sky City department store so many years ago, weakening my gut bringing about instinctual panic, is the returning feeling I have with me today when I am faced with the boundary of ethical or unethical behavior, whether I am witness to or apart of. There have been times in my life when I to chose not to disclose secrets, protecting others from harm. I think this my choice is the best thing for them however; damage is created by the nondisclosure and I am instantly traveling back in time to that instinctual queasy feeling as I witnessed my cherished uncle swindle a store out of a few man-made discounts and what was probably a five dollar toy, just because he could.
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