“Where did you find it?”
The boy’s face reflected his struggle: to tell the truth would be to admit he’d been doing what he oughtn’t, but to withhold the truth could mean that what needs to happen, won’t.
The woman waited. Integrity was best cultivated by one’s own appreciation of the internal equilibrium that could be restored by accepting the inherent benefit of right versus wrong, rather than by shaming or attempting to compel it via fear of punishment.
She knew, of course, that he’d been out of bed, and on a night when he’d already been grounded for breaking his sister’s carpentry project. All the more reason, she thought, to let him find a place to dig himself out of a hole of misdemeanors.
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