Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ethical Question

These sorts of things happen to me all the time...well, I've never actually found $100 just lying around, but I am often faced with ethical dilemnas. So, the question of the day is:

If you found a $100 bill on the sidewalk, what would you do?

a/put it in my wallet, hello new shoes!

b/Pass it by, gross, germs!

c/Give the money to charity.

d/Add it to my savings.

I would definitely pick it up and give the money to charity. I would feel incredibly guilty using or saving the money for myself, knowing that it didn't belong to me. The ideal option would be to find the person who lost it, but if it's just lying on the sidewalk, chances are good the person would be long gone.

I was recently faced with this question, only the amount of money in question was $5. Yep, just $5. I was at the self check-out lane at our local grocery store. I paid for my purchase in cash. As I counted by change, I noticed that the machine had counted out $5 too much. The $5 bills were crisp and new, so I imagine they just stuck together.

After a momentary lapse in judgment wherein I thought about just stuffing the cash in my wallet, I realized it was wrong. Did I want to sin (steal) $5? Was it really worth the guilt for $5? Would I honor God by making excuses for keeping it? The answer to all those question is NO.

So, once I got my head on straight again, I located the supervisor and handed her the $5, explaining that the machine had given me too much change. She just looked at me with the most interesting look on her face. Something like "You're crazy, lady, for telling me you got $5 too much."

I am quite certain that the moment I turned my back, the supervisor pocketed the cash, all the while thinking I was crazy for even mentioning it.

Well, she may think I'm crazy, but I feel that I did the right thing, honored God by it, and took another tiny step toward holiness by showing integrity.

So, what would you do if you found $100? $5? a quarter?

"But my God shall supply all your needs, according to HIS riches in glory."


Kay Day said...

I pocket the quarter, if I bother to pick it up.
If I get $5 too much change, I return it. If it's just lying somewhere and I can't find the owner, I keep it.

If I found $100 or more and couldn't find the owner, I might turn it in at the nearest business. If that doesn't seem good, then I would keep it, I guess. Or look for a need I could meet with it. Maybe give it to a mission or something.
I don't know. Why are you asking me this?
I remenber when my daughter was young and we found a dime and she wanted us to find who dropped it. She had a hard time understanding why it was ok to just keep the dime, but not ok to keep $20 without trying to find who lost it.

Just Me said...

Why is it ok to keep the dime but not the $20?

Kay Day said...

I don't know.

Probably because most people don't miss the dime. Wouldn't even know if they lost it. I don't know if I want to walk through a parking lot asking people if they lost a dime. Like you, I have gotten enough funny looks from people just trying to return too much change, etc.

Just Me said...

I can see your point. Hey, if you find $100 lying around, it's mine LOL