The smallest things can set us off in life if there is already distrust in a relationship. It might be as simple as an unintentional insult or a misunderstanding that explodes out of proportion and leads to even more distrust. You see, this story isn’t about the dollar bill. This story is about their relationship and how fast things can change when you let even the smallest piece of suspicion into your life.
A man had a successful department store, and eventually had two twin boys. The boys worked for their father in the department store he owned and, when he died, they took over the store. Everything went well until the day a dollar bill disappeared. One of the brothers had left the bill on the cash register and walked outside with a customer. When he returned, the money was gone.
He asked his brother, “Did you see that dollar bill on the cash register?” His brother replied that he had not.
But the young man kept probing and questioning. He would not let it alone. “Dollar bills just don’t get up and walk away! Surely you must have seen it!” There was subtle accusation in his voice.
Tempers began to rise. Resentment set in. Before long, a deep and bitter chasm divided the young men. They refused to speak. They finally decided they could no longer work together and a dividing wall was built down the center of the store.
For twenty years hostility and bitterness grew, spreading to their families and to the community.
Then one day a man in an automobile licensed in another state stopped in front of the store. He walked in and asked the clerk, “How long have you been here?”
The clerk replied that he’d been there all his life. The customer said, “I must share something with you. Twenty years ago I was ‘riding the rails’ and came into this town in a boxcar. I hadn’t eaten for three days. I came into this store from the back door and saw a dollar bill on the cash register. I put it in my pocket and walked out. All these years I haven’t been able to forget that. I know it wasn’t much money, but I had to come back and ask your forgiveness.”
The stranger was amazed to see tears well up in the eyes of this middle-aged man. “Would you please go next door and tell that same story to the man in the store?” he said. Then the man was even more amazed to see two middle-aged men, who looked very much alike, embracing each other and weeping together in the front of the store.
After twenty years, the brokenness was mended. The wall of resentment that divided them came down.
Experts have been saying to for years: communication is key! Being able to openly talk to the people that you love will eliminate most arguments before they even start. Learning to ask a question before jumping to conclusions would save us all so much heartache in life…so why do we consistently assume the worst in the people around us? We know that it helps. We know that just listening is all we need to do sometimes to avoid an argument. But we just…don’t. This story is an extreme case of distrust and miscommunication. Don’t let 20 years slip by before you mend fences with the loved ones around you.
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