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Stephen Covey

Stephen Covey, the best seller author said, “While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions”. These words reminded of the unfortunate incident in my life that has taught me to respect the law and to remain focus in anything that I do. Early in life, I have learned about a costly mistake that could either break me or help me become a better person.

The incident in 2003 has opened my mind and showed me the importance of being cautious in anything that I do regardless of whether I am shopping leisurely or rushing to leave a certain place. It was a usual habit for me to grab all my shopping needs and choices before going to the counter to pay for the items that I have taken from the shelf or shopping rack. While falling in line to wait for my turn to pay for my purchases, I took advantage of the time to examine all the items that I took.

When it was already my turn to pay for my purchases, I decided to pay for some items that I have selected and to return back in the rack the item that I do not need. Since I was in a hurry, I did not realize that I was still holding the item that I intend to return when I was heading towards the exit section of the store. It was only when the security personnel accosted me that made me aware about my failure to return the item that was still in my hand.

I tried to explain my side to the security personnel but they refused to listen and accept my reasons. Due to my mistake and lapse of memory, I had a shoplifting record and was fined $70. However, in 2004 my case was dismissed. Although I was not imprisoned, this painful experience became the turning point in my life. The consequence of my mistake made me learn to be more conscious of the law and to pay close attention to whatever I am doing. Since the incident, I became a law abiding citizen and I realize the importance of upholding the law.

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