Sunday, August 08, 2010

This is another Rex Barker e-mail

It's Been A Long Time...

A boy was 11 years old and went fishing every chance he got from a dock at his family's cabin on an island in the middle of a New Hampshire lake. On the day before the bass season opened, he and his father were fishing early in the evening, catching some fish and perch with worms.

When his pole doubled over, he knew something huge was on the other end. His father watched with admiration as the boy skillfully worked the fish along side the dock. Finally, he very gingerly lifted the exhausted fish from the water. It was the largest one he had ever seen, but it was a bass. The boy and his father looked at the handsome fish, shining in the moonlight. The father lit a match and looked at his watch. It was 10 p.m., two hours before the season opened. He looked at the fish, then at the boy. "You'll have to put it back, Son," he said. "Dad!" cried the boy. "There will be another fish," said his father. "Not as big as this one," cried the boy.

He looked around the lake. No other fishermen or boats were around in the moonlight. He looked again at his father. Even though no one had seen them, nor could anyone ever know what time he caught the fish, the boy could tell by the clarity of his father?s voice that the decision was not negotiable. He slowly worked the hook out of the lip of the huge bass and lowered it into the black water.

That was 34 years ago. Today, the boy is a successful architect in New York City. His father's cabin is still there.. He takes his own son and daughters fishing from the same dock. He was right. He has never again caught such a magnificent fish as the one he landed that night long ago. But he does see that same fish -- again and again -- every time he comes up against a question of ethics.

For, as his father taught him, ethics are simple matters of right and wrong. It is only the practice of ethics that is difficult. Do we do right when no one is looking? Do we refuse to cut corners to get the design in on time? We would if we were taught to put the fish back when we were young. For we would have learned the truth. The decision to do right lives fresh and fragrant in our memory.

Reminding you not only that you already know the difference between right and wrong; you feel it in your gut. But do the right thing, and be an example to others. They will never forget.

8 comments:

Arkansas Patti said...

Love that lesson on ethics. What would you do if you knew no one would find out is always an interesting question.

reanaclaire said...

Young people at that age learn faster...

Terra said...

That is a beautiful story about ethics, and it made it clear how to make a decision.

Lady Di Tn said...

Ethics are learned trait and that is why I always laugh when the government trys to govern ethics. No one may be looking but God is keeping score. Peace

Margaret Cloud said...

This was a good lesson on ethics. Sometimes it is very hard to do right in some circumstances, no matter how hard a person tries. Thank you for coming by.

Winifred said...

Lovely lesson Patty.

Renie Burghardt said...

Wonderful lesson in ethics! Rex Barker's posts are always so inspirational.

Have a nice evening, Patty.

Renie

Beth Niquette said...

That is the truth. I hope I have set such an example to my own three dear children, now grown and on their own.