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  • "When I came back in from recess, I found two dimes on my desk," Israel said as he got in the car. "I turned them in to my teacher, but she tried to give them back to me at the end of the day."

    "So you have two dimes?" I tried to fill in the blank.

    "No. Just because we don't know who those dimes belong to doesn't mean they belong to me," Israel responed. "Grandma (the school secretary) said she would keep them in her desk until the end of the year to see if anyone comes back for them."

    No one ever came back for the dimes, but at the end of the school year Israel still refuesed to take them.

    All my life I thought I was a moral person, until the two dimes day. My five year old son's clarity about what did and did not belong to him,

    and what was and was not significant,

    cut me to the quick.

    I would have taken those two dimes, and I would have spent them on a vending machine snack.

    I am awed that my son cares that much about doing right, even when the adults around him try to talk him out of listening to his conscience.
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