Friday, May 6, 2011

Is the Price of Integrity Too High?

  Lately, I have been wondering just how much farther in life I would be if I worried less about other people and more about myself.  It's true you should look out for your fellow man but sometimes you just have to look out for #1.

    Yesterday, I was the good guy, but I can't help but play in my mind over and over again how much simpler things would be for me if I had just acted selfishly.  Here is the scenario.  During one of those "wholesale liquor runs" I mentioned last post I stopped in a burrito shop to pick up a couple of head tacos.  Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a bus pass lying right there on the counter-top.  Nobody noticed it but me so it was ripe for the picking.  I checked it out, it had a photo of an Hispanic lady as ID and a small logo of a wheelchair for disabled.  What can I say, first instinct was to pocket it which I did.  Transportation is something that I am in dire need of these days and this was a free ride.  Instead of walking at least 5-10 miles per day I could eliminate all of that with a simple swipe of this lady's bus pass.  Man, it was my lucky day or so I thought.  Unfortunately, I couldn't do it.  Turns out this integrity crap is a very serious character flaw of mine.  The card was burning a hole in my pocket, and images of a handicapped lady desperately looking for her card so she can ride the bus stormed my thoughts.  I somewhat reluctantly withdrew the pass from my pocket and informed the lady cashier that someone had lost their very valuable bus pass.  It's very easy to surrender to guilty thoughts while being caught in this type of environment, but I am determined to go against the grain and not compromise my values rather than fall into the Skid Row status quo, even if I have to kick myself later for it.  Sometimes, the shortcuts are not always the best routes to take.  True it may take longer to reach your destination but in the end I believe it will be worth it.  Yep, I'm short a free ride (probably at least a month's worth), but at least I am somewhat consoled by the fact that it was the right thing to do.  Hopefully, that lady will be able to retrieve her card (man, those free rides sure would have been nice though).   Was the cost for me too high? In my book there is only one answer to that question..absolutely not.

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