Where have all the good people gone?
If you saw someone drop a wad of money, would you pick it up or leave it? Would you try to catch up to the person to return it or go to the nearest authority to turn it in? Would it cross your mind to keep the cash? Would it matter if it was seven one dollar bills or seven one hundred dollar bills? These are some questions I began to think about after an event I witnessed this past weekend.
I never thought those were questions that really needed to be considered by people. I figured if someone dropped a personal possession right in front of a person, that witness would naturally pick it up and immediately return it. Apparently, that is not a universal train of thought.
Although still immoral in my mind, it is somewhat understandable for someone to keep money that is found on the ground in a deserted area. The chances of the money getting back to the owner at that point are pretty slim. However, all questions are erased when you watch the money fall out of someone's bag and grab it while they are still 20 feet from you, unaware they have just lost their money.
My friend Erika and I were catching a break on a bench in the mall this weekend when two teenage girls walked by us. Just as they were crossing our path, one of the girls lost a roll of money from her purse, but did not realize it had fallen to the floor. Before I could get up to grab the money and run over to the escaping girl, a woman carrying a massive bag full of brand new (and expensive) shoes darted over to the money and put it in her purse, looking me in the eye showing no shame.
Not only did this woman watch the girl drop the money just as I did, she didn't even stop to think twice about the horrible act she was committing, not even after my look of disgust I shot in her direction as she stuffed her stolen treasure into her bag. With people standing all over the place and the owner of the money literally 10 steps from her, she jumped on that cash so fast I didn't even have time to react. How is it that someone can have no moral conscience? I wish I could make sense of it.
For someone who was wearing nice clothes, gabbing on an iPhone and carrying a bag full of expensive shoes, she sure did seem desperate for some money. I imagine she was probably disappointed to find that it only amounted to about $7, which wouldn't get her too far in the mall.
After the fiasco, as I sat in shock trying to process what had just happened, I found myself questioning her motive. Is she poor, addicted to stealing, immoral or an adrenaline junkie? What, if any, situation justifies stealing from another person, especially with them right in front of you? Sure, this lady didn't exactly hit up a bank or steal a car, but I don't see much difference in that and what she did. With no guilt and no regard she duped that innocent girl, slightly altering my view of the good in society.
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