YKK Stories

YKK Fundamental Behavior #1- Do the Right Thing, Always

June 21, 2022
Author: YKK
Fundamental Behaviors

Sounds simple enough.

I recall a trip to the grocery store with two of my children, who at the time were 2 and 3 years old. Dealing with two toddlers in a grocery store is not an easy job. I had gotten all the shopping done, checked out, and got the kids in their car seats with the air on to keep them cool. I started loading the groceries into the car and realized that I had left a bag of potatoes on the bottom of the cart and did not pay for them. At this point I stopped and said, “I need to go pay for these.” Then the reality of taking both kids out of the car seats and getting all of us back into the store hit me. The dread and aggravation of the chores hit me hard. I wrestled with the decision – was it worth the trouble? For a brief second, I tried to justify not going back in to pay for the potatoes. I knew how I would feel awful for not doing what was right. So, I took both kids out of their car seats and back into the store. We went to the register, and I told the lady I needed to pay for the potatoes I had left on the cart. She looked at me and said she would not have gone to all that trouble just to come back and pay for a four-dollar bag of potatoes.

Though my babies were only 2 and 3 years old and have no memory of this adventure, making this choice was for them as much as it was for me! I needed to instill in my children what my parents had instilled in me, and that was: “Always do the right thing even if it is hard or not what everyone else is doing.” Being completely honest, I have not always done that. When I have made the choice not to do the right thing, I have felt bad about myself.

Doing the right thing is not always the most popular thing to do. Sometimes making the decision to do the right thing is hard and inconvenient, but the decisions we make in those moments define our character.

Ellen Vinson
Manufacturing Operations Manager
YKK (U.S.A.) Inc.