I lost my wallet; does anyone know where it is? I had cash of at least $100 and 3-4 credit cards. If you found it, what would you do? Would you return it? Would you take the cash? Would you try to use the credit cards? You have a choice between what you should do versus what you want to do? Does it matter if you are having hard times and you need the money?
If you found my wallet, what would you do? My address is on my driver’s license which is in my wallet. Would you call me? Would you mail it to me? Why not? Would you take the money and toss the wallet? The worst part of losing your wallet is replacing the identification cards (medical), driver’s license, and various other cards. Generally speaking, most people realize their wallet is missing within a 24 hour period and would cancel the credit cards. Following this scenario, the store is out any purchases made on the lost credit cards.
Okay, you found my wallet, now what? You have been staring at it for hours, what are you going to do? I would recommend doing the right thing. You are torn between what you could spend a $100 on and doing the right thing. This is that moment in life where no one except you will know if you did the right thing. What is the consequence of doing the wrong thing? You sold out your character or integrity for a paltry $100. No big deal! Is that right? You probably have done this for far less money and often. Who are these people? They are your neighbors, friends, and colleagues, fellow members of your church or worst relatives. Some of you may disagree, my point is they do not wear horns or stick out in any way.
Doing what is right requires an extra effort or standing out in a sea of mediocrity. We are conditioned to not report errors! Remember when you were a kid, tattling was considered wrong! In school, I had to adhere to an honor code. I was supposed to report infractions. Silence was considered the same as cheating or condoning the infraction. For me, there is an almost euphoric feeling when I do the right thing. Is that lost in other people? I feel good when I do something nice for somebody. Why isn’t that encouraged and reinforced?
Why is he making such a big deal over a wallet and $100? It is important because I do not want to be around people who do not feel the same way as I do. Let’s personalize this, would you want to have that person around you? Would you want to invite that person to your home? Could I leave something valuable out and be confident you would not take it? If you were a cashier for me and you came up short $20, is it a mistake or are you a thief? If you did this too often, I would fire you! Either you are a thief or inept! It doesn’t matter. You lost your job. The moral of this, do the right thing! By the way, I did not lose my wallet; I used this as a metaphor to express how important it is. What would you want to happen, if the wallet is yours? your parents? your friends? What would you do, if you found a wallet?
Photo by: Martin Kingsley