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Principle Over Profit

Yesterday our ES and Spark Warriors wrapped up their mini-Children's Business Fair Exhibition, and it was such a blast! Warriors from the ages of three to eleven were all engaged: interacting with customers, managing booths, and having a blast!



Of course, every time we adults step out of the way and let our children shine, they always rise to the occasion.


But today, an incident occurred that struck right at the heart of why we do what we do at THA.


An ES Warrior, about 9-10 years young, came to me seeming a little distraught, and asked if we could talk.


"What's going on?" I asked.


He said that although him and his business partner worked equally hard, had a lot of fun, and generated $60 of profit, he was given only $6. I paused for a moment and tried to think of options instead of giving an answer or posing a leading question.


"Did you want talk to him about it? What about a peace conversation (part of the conflict-resolution process they use in the ES studio)?"


"Yeah... I already talked to him, and he said that was his decision because he said he's the CEO of the company. So he thinks could do that."


"Hmm... So what do you want to do? Do you want to try a peace conversation here in the office, do you want to send an email and involve some other people (council, guides, parents?), or do you want to let him know you'll never work for him again?" This was the best I could think of on the spot.


He thought for a moment and replied, "I think I'll talk to him here in the office."


A little while later they both came to the office. I sat in the background, told them to imagine I wasn't there, and began to do work on my laptop, while they started talking. I would hate to jump in and take away an opportunity for them to figure this out.


After an awkward silence while they both looked at each other, the Warrior who felt wronged started talking, "So you know how we both ran the business together? Right?"


"Yeah..."


"We both made like $60, right?"


"Yeah..."


"And we both worked equally hard, right?"


"Yeah..."


"So how come you only gave me $6?"


He paused for a moment then, looked down, then said,"You're right, I think I should give you more."


"How much more?"


"I think you should get like $10 or $20 more."


"No no, not $20." He replied. "$10 is fine, because we had to pay other people for helping us too. So that would be fair... But actually, I don't want the money. You keep it. I just wanted to let you know I didn't think this was fair. Okay? We're good right?" And he extended his hand to his younger friend's shoulder.


"Yeah, we're good, but I still think I should give you more. I'll definitely be more careful next time."


When so many people in today's world have been in heated conflicts over money, when families have literally been torn apart over it, here stand our Warriors, reminding us that is not about the money, it's about self-respect. It's not about the short-term gain, it's about the relationship. It's not about profit, it's about principle.


One of the ES guides asked them today at morning launch, "How many of you made someone smile yesterday?" With big smiles on their own faces, they all raised their hands.


Grateful for how they remind me of the more important things in life and honored to be a part of their journey.



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