A poor farmer desired to steal corn from his neighbor’s field. He took his young son along with him to be the lookout. Before the father began, he carefully observed his surroundings, looking in every direction to ensure the coast was clear. Seeing that he was safe, he was just about to fill his bag with fresh, golden corn, when his son cried out, “Father, there is someone watching!” The father panicked, grabbed his son’s hand, and they quickly left the field.

Once they arrived in neutral territory, the father glanced back to see who had almost caught him. “Where is there someone watching?” questioned the father, as no one was in sight.

G‑d is watching!” the son answered.

The father, conscience-stricken, took his boy by the hand and hurried home without the stolen corn.

“You can’t fool G‑d, and you can’t fool other people. The only one you can fool is yourself. And what is the achievement of fooling a fool?”
—Rabbi Shmuel of Lubavitch

“Don’t use an excuse you wouldn’t put on paper.”