For me, two pictures tell us the story of life here and across Southern Idaho.

One is a small stack of pocket change.  On a counter in a bathroom at work.  The small pile has been there for months.  Someone apparently dropped it while using the facility.  It could’ve been a visitor but most likely someone who works in the building.

Nobody has picked it up.  Nobody on staff.  Nobody cleaning the building.  Nobody a guest in the building.

In our day and age I suppose it sounds quaint to say honesty is its own reward.  Then let quaint be restored.

Because it doesn’t belong to you.  It may have been mine but I’m not sure.  It’s why I don’t pick it up.  I’ll wager it’s the same for friends here at the office.

We’re staffed primarily by people affiliated with the LDS and evangelical churches.  With a smattering of conservative Catholics.  It’s a microcosm of the Magic Valley.  And the culture.

A few blocks from work I pass over a canyon going to and from work.  A woman on our staff wrote about this last winter.  The bridges in town are festooned with scarfs and gloves.  These are for the homeless and/or destitute.  For many of them, the canyon is their refuge.  Many would likely refuse direct charity, but anonymously plucking some warmth from the bridge allows them to maintain some dignity.

What we’re seeing is a community where people live their faith.  Even if you don’t sit every weekend in a church, you were still exposed to this culture.  Many grew up immersed in “doing the right thing”.

I’m reminded of the story of Howard Hughes.  As a kid I admired his spirit and risk taking.  A grandmother knew of my interest in his life.  She bought me a thick biography.  It was one the very first really long books I ever read in life.

Hughes may not have been an overly religious man as an adult, however.  He surrounded himself with members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  He did this because he knew where he could put trust.  He needed honest people in his business empire.

In our day and age I suppose it sounds quaint to say honesty is its own reward.  Then let quaint be restored.  There are people in Southern Idaho who’ve made it a goal to maintain traditional values.  We all benefit.