Dear Urban Diplomat,
I got into a cab a few days ago outside First Canadian Place and found a $100 bill on the floor. I quickly stuffed it into my pocket, but I’ve been feeling guilty ever since. I’m a manager at PwC, and I definitely don’t need the money as much as my cabbie probably does. I ended up spending it on overpriced martinis that night, making me an even bigger heel. What would you have done?
—Taxi Cab Confessor, Harbourfront
When the lost item has a reasonable chance of being returned to the owner—a wallet or keys, for example—one is morally and ethically obligated to give it up. Cash is different. The odds that a $100 bill will find its way back to the rightful owner are about as high as the odds that the driver is the person in the photo on the seat back. Still, the endorphin boost generated by handing it over would have left you and the driver feeling karmically blessed. Hell, it might even have been life-affirming enough to nudge the cabbie into tracking down the fare who lost it. Probably not—but the resulting I’m-a-good-guy glow would have given you a bigger buzz than those $18 martinis. It’s too late for that now, so make like Haley Joel Osment in Pay It Forward and donate $100 to your favourite charity.
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