Monday, December 26, 2016

Out Of Bounds

In classes, we often talk about honesty. The following, from November 21, 2007, is about Nicole Caputo and an incident in a middle school game. Nicole is now  a college graduate!

I think I was the only one who saw it. We had our first basketball game two weeks ago and score-wise, it was not going well. The other school was much more experienced and it was our first game. We looked good in our new uniforms but the ball refused to go through the basket, at least when we shot it. I don't remember exactly when it happened but the ball went out of bounds under the basket and the referee pointed that the ball would be in our possession. Nicole went and whispered something to the gentleman. He changed the call and gave the basketball to our opponents. In the heat of the game, I quickly forgot. The next morning in practice, I asked Nicole about the incident. The referee had not seen that Nicole had actually touched the ball last, making his decision incorrect. She merely told the truth, rectifying the situation, and the game continued. It was just a blip in the landscape of a game that took more than an hour to complete. And in retrospect, it had no impact on the outcome.

The next day, I told my classes about Nicole's confession to the official and asked if they would have done the same. Almost unanimously, the boys contended they would not. The consensus was that it was up to the referee to make the call and that those things even out. I gave other scenarios. What would you do if you saw the scoreboard operator gave your team the points when the other team scored? Most of the boys said they would remain silent although one did clarify his stance by saying it would matter if the score was close. Let me state that I trust my students. I trust them enough to let them grade their own quizzes that we take three times per week and I believe they are honest. I was surprised about how few of the boys feel there is a connection between honesty in the outside world and truthfulness in the athletic arena. We have become engulfed by the mentality of shows like SURVIVOR where sportsmanship is overshadowed by the chance to win a million dollars. Winning prevails over ethics. Nicole didn't have to debate whether or not to tell the referee. It came naturally because truthfulness is built into her character. In Jeremiah 5:1, the Lord is considering the punishment of his most precious piece of property. Look what he tells his prophet:

"Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem,
look around and consider,
search through her squares.
If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth , I will forgive this city."

Too bad Nicole didn't live in Jerusalem. She would have saved them a considerable amount of grief and heartache.

Applicable quote of the day:
"Honest hearts produce honest actions."
Brigham Young

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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