Once upon a Tuesday, the Dean of Music at USC was standing in the local candy shop in his briefs, screaming at the top of his voice.
It was one of those Tuesdays.
The candy shop was stuffed with sugar in every shape imaginable: Tall skinny bottles bristling with Strawberry Laces; Shimmering bell jars hovering atop saucers of snow-white Gobstoppers; Deep, wide baskets brimming with Sticky Toffee Apples and Turkish Delight and Curly Wurlys and Sherbert Fountains; And buckets upon buckets of Love Hearts and Refreshers and M&Ms and Pop Rocks and Skittles and everything in-between.
The Dean, like any hyperglycaemic toddler, was hysterical. His father had caught him with his hand — quite literally — in the cookie jar.
The infant Dean’s excuse: “I was going to pay for them later.”
His father replied with words so powerful they still rang in the Dean’s ears five and a half decades later:
“Son, it would be better to simply take all you want and call yourself a thief every time.”
Fixable but unfixable bad performance is bad character. Making excuses for bad performances only creates more of them.
That’s why it’s better to be an honest thief than a dishonest judge.