Quick, think of the one thing your parents always told you when you were growing up. Was it “be nice to people” or “always say thank you”? If the one thing you can remember getting drilled into your brain as a child was “don’t tell a lie” then chances are your making around $5,000 more annually than your peers who don’t remember such lecturing.

At least that’s what Kobe University Professor Kazuo Nishimura suggests after conducting a survey of nearly 16,000 adults in Japan.

The survey, which began in February of this year, asked 15,949 men and women over the age of 19 if they still remembered being told certain typical childhood moralisms. The key, however, was not if they actually did what they were told, just that they remember being taught these commands. In addition they were also asked about their annual income.

According to Nishimura’s findings, people who could clearly remember being told “do not lie” earned on average 4.49 million yen a year (US$45,000) whereas those who don’t recall being told it earned 3.99 million yen ($40,000) for a difference of 500,000 yen ($5,000) per year.

Other maxims such as “obey the rules”; “be kind to others”; and “study hard” had similar results but to a much lesser extent. People who remembered these earned only 150,000 to 290,000 yen more per year ($1,500-$2,900).  Also, if you remembered all four of those aforementioned orders then you might be making 860,000 yen ($8,600) more than those who can’t remember being told any of them.

However, following all of the golden rules does not equate to gold. Apparently, being told “say thank you” or “listen to your parents” doesn’t do squat for your bottom line. Even worse, remembering that you were told to “say hello to people you meet” may mean you’re making less than those who don’t by about 130,000 yen ($1,300).

So, what does all this mean? Probably not a whole lot, but if you’re raising young kids, you might want to instill the virtue of honesty a little harder. It could mean a swimming pool in your future when they grow up.

Source: Mainichi Online (Japanese)
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