Only I Will Know…

I just got back from the Begnosh Farm where I bought a dozen ears of the sweetest corn ever. Actually, A “dozen” at Gaston’s farm is 13, and if they are on the small side,14, all for only $4.

I handed over $10 and the gentleman gave me back $7.00 as my change. I told him he gave me too much and gave him back $1. He thanked me for being so honest. I thanked him for the opportunity he offered me to make the right choice.

Now, dear reader, I beg you to believe me that this post is NOT about what a great person I am. It’s about those four words which pop into our brains (they sure did in mine, at the farm), at those frequent instants when we are confronted with  various ethical choices – some about money, some about other things. I want to to fess up right now,  that over a lifetime there have been lots of times that I have made choices I’m not proud of. For purposes of this post, you need to know that, OK?

So now, the four words are:  “ONLY I WILL KNOW”.

These words, in the context of ethical choices, are potentially poisonous:

The two words, “ONLY” and “I” do not work next to each other.

Firstly, because “only” subtracts and takes away from “I”. It makes “I” smaller, and that’s me that’s getting downsized. And, secondly because “ONLY I” separates and disconnects me from everyone and everything else that is going on. That’s impossible.

But way, way more important, is that at  ethical choice time, the very person whose opinion about us matters the most, is our own opinion of ourselves. The eyes in which we have to be in maximum integrity, are our own eyes. Others too of course, but ours first.

In my view, our life depends on this.

In my coaching work, I read lots of stuff: psychology, self help, philosophy and so forth. Not long ago, I read somewhere ( I wish I could remember where, so I could credit the author/guru, but I forget which book), the words:

No human behavior is self esteem neutral.

The writer is saying that everything we do (or don’t do), has some relationship to how we feel about ourselves. Think about this. If you agree, then you can see how important it is that the things “Only I will know” are things which make me proud to be me.

Practice Tip: The next time an opportunity to make an ethical choice arrives (it will probably come up pretty soon), and the “only I will know” words pop into your brain, STOP…and before deciding,  ask yourself, “which choice will impact my self esteem…in which way?” Then decide.

As always dear reader,

Please listen, and be kind, to yourself.



About Michael Scott

Michael Scott is a life coach, author and teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area. After spending 35 years in business - coaching found him - and he's never looked back. Michael uses his coaching training and experience, in the service of his clients, as their constant and loving guide towards joyous, fulfilling lives which are genuinely their own. He lives with his dear wife in Sausalito, CA.

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