If you see and pick up a five dollar bill off the ground, whose is it?
Our subject story discusses a recent test conducted by Reader’s Digest in which they dropped a dozen wallets containing $50.00 and a phone number to call if the wallet found. Who would have thought New York would have rated so high. But this test leads one to wonder of the integrity of your fellow man . . .
Here’s is a question for you to consider. Ask this question to young children 6 to 10 years old, teenagers 12 to 16 years old, and adults 21 to 30 years old:
“You are walking down the sidewalk and spot a five dollar bill on the ground. You pick it up. Whose money is it?”
In all age groups I tested, 6 persons per group, almost all said, “MINE!”
One child and one adult said otherwise.
What does this say for our society? In case you do not know the answer to my question, let’s see if we pose the question another way:
“You are walking down the sidewalk and spot a purse on the ground. You pick it up. Whose purse is it?”
In all age groups I tested, 6 persons per group, almost all said, “The lady that lost it!”
One 6 year old said his “mommy,” 2 teens said “Mine,” and one adult said, “It depends on how good a Driver’s License photo the broad has.”
I could continue this test using numerous items as the test object, but the answer to these questions is simple. The items belong to the person that lost the item, regardless the item. Somebody lost the five dollar bill, somebody lost their purse. It is not yours! It is their property!
Now the problem we have here is what we are teaching our children. I recall an incident in which a young lady lost a real nice set of earrings in an elementary school restroom. Another girl found the earrings. The finder said she found them, they are hers now. Do you see the problem?
Somewhere along the line integrity has been lost, and it needs to be found. But, do not worry if you see it and pick it up off the sidewalk . . . Integrity can be yours when found.