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How My Father Used ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ And $1.50 To Teach Me About Honesty

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What was the very best teaching moment or story that you experienced from your father?

When I was 10, my father gave me a book to read — Gulliver’s Travels. He said that towards the end of the book, I would be rewarded. I thought he was talking about the lesson in it.

I started reading the story with my natural speed, in no great rush to get to the end. Just before 10 pages at the end, I found a Rs. 100 note [ about $1.50]. I was baffled at the sight. Since I was a kid, it was really a very huge amount for me. I didn’t know what to do with the sum. Moreover, I was too much into the story, and really wanted to explore what happens with Gulliver, the story’s brave hero.

I just slid the note at the other side of the table and continued reading.When I completed reading the book, I returned it to my father and notified him about the money I had found in it. I told him that I don’t know what to do with it and since he was an adult, he would know how to deal with it.

Flickr (Breve Storia del Cinema)

My father wanted to check how I would handle the situation and he was pleased to see that I didn’t cheat.

He sat me down and explained it to me, “Look Beta, as you did, one must be prompt about returning stuff which doesn’t belong to them. This will keep your Karma clean and you will be rewarded. It doesn’t matter what the form of the reward is, but it does matter that you have a clean conscience at the end of the day when you go to bed. Never lie or cheat in life, no matter what the situation is. You will be successful. Now go and buy yourself a kite.”

I clearly remember the incident, as it was before he left us, and it is one of the very few memories I have of him. I try my best to abide by this teaching of his. It surely has helped me to have a guilt-free conscience everyday

Anirudh Anupama is a PhD Research Scholar, IIT Indore, and enjoys writing about parenting, literature, and storytelling. You can read more from Quora here: