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Guidelines For Living

with Harold Sala and Bonnie Sala
2 Steps To A Clear Conscience Wednesday, June 3, 2020
What prompts a person to return something that was stolen years before?  The influential weapon that governs our conduct is called conscience.  On the fifth floor of the U.S. Treasury Building in Washington D. C. is a room which contains thousands of letters.  It contains the files of the federal "Conscience Fund."  This strange gift fund dates back to the year 1811 when an anonymous citizen wrote that he was "suffering the most painful pangs of conscience" because he had stolen from or defrauded the U.S. government.  He eased the pain by remitting $6.  In the 175 years that the fund has been in existence, $5.7 million dollars has been contributed.  However, “The sincerity of some donors' repentance can be uncertain, writes Dave Philipps, “as demonstrated by a received letter reading, ‘Dear Internal Revenue Service, I have not been able to sleep at night because I cheated on last year's income tax. Enclosed find a cashier's check for $1,000. If I still can't sleep, I'll send you the balance.’"[1]   [1] Philipps, Dave (April 10, 2005). "Would you tip the IRS?". The Gazette.  

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