Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Forgive Me, Father, For I Have Sinned

Have you ever done something that you know you shouldn't (like looking at the reflection of your ass in the toilet bowl)? One afternoon in the early 90's, I was walking on 3rd Street in my hometown. I passed a phone booth (remember those?) and something caught my eye. I turned around and went into the booth. There was a wallet inside. I took a look around to make sure no one was watching and opened it. There was more than one hundred dollars inside!

I looked at the guy's ID. He was a twenty something college student. He must've called for a ride the night before and was so wasted that he forgot his wallet. The wheels started turning in my head. I knew I shouldn't, but decided that if I could get away with it, I would. I was most afraid that someone might be watching me, so hesitated for a minute or two. Finally, I decided to go for it. I took da moolah out of the wallet and put it into my pocket. I got an adrenaline rush and walked relatively quickly back home.

I got home and looked at the cash. This was extra money. I could do anything I wanted with it. I mostly treated myself with it, went out to eat, bought cassettes. I assume the wallet itself eventually found its way back to its owner (I just left it there). If that happened to me now, I'd turn both the money and the wallet in to the police or place an ad in the paper (remember those?). Back then, however, I was a poor, somewhat morally compromised college boy. Sometimes I miss those days.


Extra Ordinary Me said...

Very interesting post! I have to think about this.

Rocketstar said...

Nice post Thomas. Yeah, I am in the same boat. I think as we get older our ability for empathy grows and we stop doing stuff like stealing and intentionally cuasing harm to others.

If you ever find a wallet again, you can always stick it in the mailbox, the post office will get it back to them.

Dämmerung Anblick said...

It's funny that you mention this. I was at the department store the other day and when I was in the check out stand, I found a visa card lying on the ground. Naturally, I told the cashier and she remembered who had used it. She ran out to the parking lot and caught the owner of the card. The card owner, a mother with her baby, praised me profusely for my honesty.

I remember feeling a bit unworthy of such praise at time because it just seemed like something that anybody would do. But then I remembered back to a time when a gas station attendant accidently gave me an extra 20 dollars change and I pocketed it. I remember the feelings of guilt afterward and resolving never to do that again in the same situation.

It seems that doing the right thing in these situations really is a choice. But that your choice gets easier with time, whichever way you decide to chose.

I think at some point, you made a choice to do the right thing and that you've stuck with it since.

Maybe if you have an urge to be a bad boy, stick it to the people who really deserve it. Like a Robin Hood thing, eh?

SilverNeurotic said...

To this day, I am still eternally grateful for the person who returned my paycheck back to me. If I ever found a wallet, I would do everything in my power to find it's owner and return it.