A terrific quote from Franklin P. Jones recently crossed my path: “Always tell the truth. You may make a hole-in-one when you’re alone on the golf course someday.” As someone who enjoys hitting the links by myself late on summer evenings, I appreciate that perspective. Of course, a bigger personal challenge might be counting that missed two-foot tap-in no one saw.
Trust is something that’s hard to earn – taking years to build – and easy to lose. There was a joke (perhaps inappropriate for younger audiences) that went something like: “I’ve raised four wonderful kids, built three successful companies and given away two million dollars, but one time I get busted with a hooker and…”
There is something interesting about human beings placing themselves in situations that could disrupt a lifetime of goodwill. We taught our children to always behave as if there is a camera on your shoulder… or that whatever you do could be on the front page of tomorrow’s New York Times. That’s true even more so today when everyone around them has a camera and the instant ability to tweet a negative headline. Hopefully, they listened.
The answer isn’t to lock yourself in a room to avoid difficult situations. It’s to think twice – or four times – before playing with fire and believing you’re not going to be burned. As my mother use to say: “Nothing good ever happens after midnight.” So throw some cold water over your ego… and live to play again another day.
Interestingly, I’d never heard of Mr. Franklin P. Jones, so I googled and discovered he may be the only quotable personality I’ve ever come across who doesn’t have a Wikipedia entry. He may have been a Philadelphia reporter born in the first decade of the 20th century or a businessman born in 1887. Someone should properly identify this man who is attributed with such great quotes as:
“Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.”
“The trouble with being punctual is that nobody’s there to appreciate it.”
“Honest criticism is hard to take, especially from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.”
“It’s a strange world of language in which skating on thin ice can get you into hot water.”
“Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid.”
“All women should know how to take care of children. Most of them will have a husband some day.”
“Scratch a dog and you’ll have a permanent job.”