“Some money is too expensive.”
When I got my first grown-up job after college my dad asked me how much money I’d be willing to embezzle.
My dad was an aerospace engineer, one of the most straight-edge ethical men you can imagine. So I told him the truth, “You raised me to be honest. There is no amount of money that could induce me to steal.”
But he wasn’t having it. “A thousand dollars?” he asked, “Ten thousand?”
“Will I get caught?”
“No one who embezzles thinks they will get caught.”
“Ok, so it would have to be enough to escape the country and get a new identity.”
“Which is?” he asked.
“Fifty million dollars.” I said. “If they left fifty million with me and I thought I could get away scout free, I might take it.”
“Excellent,” he said. “Now never sell out for a box of pens and a three hole punch. If fifty million dollars is your price, never steal a penny less.”
Five advice more.
1) “If you stand on the shores of temptation, the devil will row you a boat.” I attribute this sage advice to my grandmother, but it is likely from another source. Do not put yourself in situations to be tempted.
2) Each individual has strengths and weaknesses. Be smart enough to recognize not only your own strengths and weaknesses, but also the strengths and weaknesses of others.
3) Find something to appreciate in everything and everyone.
4) Surround yourself with the type of people you want to be.
5) Direct quote from my father – “Son. You are intelligent. Use your powers for good.”