Omar was the meanest and toughest person on the block, but he always seemed to be swarming with followers, mainly because he was a reliable and predictable leader. Sometimes they did not like the things he asked them to do, or to go the places he had them running errands, but they always obeyed him nonetheless. When they would sit together, they would discuss all the different things they could be doing with their time instead of following his every command. Every now and again, someone would point out that Omar was not that bad, nor was he the worst. Whenever he got extra money he would divide it up evenly among the lot of them, or if he got tickets to shows, he would not just keep them for himself. While this might be true, it did not make some of the other guys feel any better. When anyone asked why they did not just leave, there was always silence.
Billy got it in his head one day that he could make a better leader than Omar, so he had some of the other men take sides with him. They declared to Omar that they would be starting their own crew because they did not always like how he handled them. Omar was upset at first, but he had wisdom in his eyes when he allowed them to go. He knew they would not get far with Billy as a leader. The other men who remained loyal to Omar were pleasantly surprised when he started giving them greater benefits from the jobs they did, and even encouraged them to tell him their problems whenever they would come up.
Not long after the split with Billy, about three weeks off, Omar ran into some of the men who had abandoned him. They were sitting by the street, with nothing to do. When Omar asked them about Billy, they told him that he had taken off with money from a job they had all done that was supposed to be split evenly. Omar laughed and told them he knew that would happen, and that is why he did not put up much of a fight when they decided to leave. He knew that Billy was selfish, but he hoped they had learned their lesson. They could not come back into his company because he could not trust them, but if there was any way he could help, he would. They hung their heads in shame as they watched him walk away.
Sometimes it is better to trust the information you already have, over what you do not. There is a lot of evil and good in the world; it is best trust the good you already know.
By Kerry Ann Stewart
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