Stick To The Golden Rule

Holly and her husband went to a hamburger joint and witnessed the son of the owner taking money from the cash register. They aren't sure how to handle it. Should they tell the owner?

QUESTION: Holly in Fort Worth and her husband went to a hamburger joint, and they witnessed the son of the owner sticking some money from the cash register in his shoe. They aren't sure how to handle it. Should they tell the owner? Dave advises them to follow the Golden Rule.

ANSWER: If you owned a business and your kid was stealing from you and someone saw it, what would you want them to do? That's called the Golden Rule. Treat other people like you'd want to be treated. The only way I know how to answer these things is—awkward or not—what would I want someone to do if I were in their shoes, and then I've got to go do that.

When something's awkward like that and it feels weird, it really kind of lets the air out of the awkwardness if you just say so. It humanizes you and keeps you from sounding like some kind of bureaucrat who just showed up and didn't have anything to do other than meddle in other people's business. It's the right thing to do, and doing the right thing usually is screwy. Most of your ethics dilemmas are solved by the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you.