Maddy (8) and Emily (10) had a deep and detailed conversation about ethics the other day. This delights me to my very core as a professor of business ethics. I submit their conversation for your entertainment and consideration.
Emily: Do you have the right to steal to fix something to prevent damage to your house then give it back?
Maddy: It depends on who you are stealing from.
Emily: A store.
Maddy: Does the person working there know you are a friend?
Emily: No
Maddy: Where was it from? Which department?
Emily: <thinking> Um, hardware.
Maddy: People will notice, so no.
Emily: It’s at night so no one will notice.
Maddy: Then you should.
Mom note: Emily takes another tactic.
Emily: Your friend spreads a rumor about you.
Maddy: What kind of rumor?
Emily: A medium rumor.
Mom: What’s a medium rumor?
Emily: <thinking> Not horrible.
Maddy: ok, go on
Emily: You find out who said it. She apologizes. Will you forgive her?
Maddy: How is it spread?
Emily: To every girl in your grade.
Maddy: What type of rumor?
Emily: Medium, like “kaplunk” in the bathroom.
Mom note: As in, you are pooping at school and someone hears your “deposit” hit the water. <Seriously difficult to keep a straight face and take notes now.>
Maddy: <without pause or snicker> No. You can’t trust them. I can maybe forgive but not forget.
Emily: Yes, friends make mistakes. Real friends forgive.
Mom note: Nice ending, ladies.