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Honesty - Samuel Colgate - Story

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Offline Sara

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Honesty - Samuel Colgate - Story
« on: February 05, 2013, 09:06:47 AM »
VALUES:  Hard work, Honesty; Sharing

STORY:    Many years ago, Samuel, a sixteen year old, left his home in a small American town and journeyed to New York to seek his fortune. Along the way, this young candle and soap maker met an old man and they walked together talking about many things. Samuel recalls how the old man gave him the recipe for success:

“Work hard, be absolutely honest, give good service and remember to give some of what you earn to help those who have very little or nothing”.

Eventually, Samuel reached New York and, for a number of years, it was very hard, as work was difficult to find. He tried, however, to follow the advice he had been given; he did work hard, he asked an honest price for his services, he tried to help those less fortunate and always gave a portion of his earnings to the church at the end of every month. Through his efforts, he eventually found regular work making soap and candles. He worked his way up in the business, became a manager, later a partner and, ultimately, bought the business and became the owner. He never forgot, however, to contribute to the church and to charity organizations that helped the poor.

Samuel became very rich and, when he retired, he gave away most of his money and kept just enough to keep his family comfortable. It has been estimated that he gave over £10 million to charities during his lifetime. Samuel Colgate’s toothpaste and soap products are recognized and used
throughout the world and his recipe for success still remains valid - work hard, be honest and help those less fortunate than yourself.


The value of honesty covers both telling the truth, and also not taking things that are not yours. In this story, it also refers to asking a fair price for his services. We could call Samuel Colgate a role-model, as he is someone who we might want to be like. It is good to look for role-models, or even mentors, in your own community – people who you can look up to and who can guide you in the choices that you make. Samuel worked hard but also considered others.

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