The scene is a small neighborhood grocery store and the year is 1887. A distinguished-looking gentleman in his late fifties or early sixties is buying some turnip greens. He hands the clerk a twenty-dollar bill and waits for his change. The clerk accepts the money and starts to place it in the cash drawer as she made change. However, she noticed that the ink was coming off on her fingers, which were still wet from handling the turnip greens. She was shocked and paused to consider what to do.
Mter an instant of wrestling with the problem, she made a decision. This was Emmanual Ninger, a long-time friend, neighbor, and customer. Surely he would not give her a bill that was anything less than genuine, so she gave him the change and he left. Later, she had some second thoughts because twenty dollars was a lot of money in 1887. She sent for the police.
One policeman was confident that the twenty-dollar bill was the genuine article. The other was puzzled about the ink that rubbed off. Finally, curiosity combined with responsibility forced them to obtain a warrant to search Mr. Ninger’s home. In the attic they found the facilities for reproducing twenty-dollar bills. As a matter of fact, they found a twenty-dollar bill in the process of being printed.
They also found three portraits which Emm anual Ninger had painted. Ninger was an artist, and a good one. He was so good, he was hand-painting those twenty-dollar bills. Meticulously, stroke by stroke, he applied the master’s touch so skillfully, he was able to fool everyone until a quirk offate in the form of the wet hands of a grocery store clerk exposed him. After his arrest, his portraits were sold at public auction for $16,000 – over $5,000 each.
The irony of the story is, it took Emmanual Ninger almost exactly the same length of time to paint a twenty-dollar bill as it took him to paint a $5,000 portrait. Yes, this brilliant and talented man was a thief in every sense of the word.
Tragically, the person he stole the most from was Emmanual Ninger. Not only could he have been a wealthy man if he had legitimately marketed his ability, but he could have brought so much joy and so many benefits to his fellowman in the process. He was another in the endless list of thieves who steal from themselves when they try to steal from others.
De- briefing of the story
Each time you take a short cut or cheat on something, remember that you are stealing a better life from yourself. Therefore use all your skills in an ethical manner.
This Story can be used to share the importance of
2- Using skills in a proper manner
3- Not Cheating
Frm the Book “See you at the Top” by Zig Ziglar