Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Confronting a Moral Dilemma
On a walk with a friend a couple of days ago, I happened to glance down at the pavement of the quiet back road we were on and spotted a small gray rectangle -- a gift card, it proved to be when I picked it up. A Visa card from Vanilla.com, no denomination indicated on it; just the usual numbers, expiration date, and security code that you'd find on any credit card. What to do? My friend and I discussed the morality of just pocketing it; a couple walking by with their dog said it wasn't theirs and recommended keeping it; surely, if it had been a fiver or a twenty dollar bill lying there, I'd have kept it without a second thought -- but a gift card? Who knows how much money it might be? Somehow it didn't feel the same. Somehow, pocketing it almost felt like theft. But leave it there for its owner to come back and find? Bloody unlikely, for sure. So I took it home with me, and left it on the dining table. Picked it up this morning and saw on the back a website URL where one could check the card's balance. What the heck? Might as well. So I went to the site, entered all the information, and.... Thirty bucks. All gone. Probably fell out of someone's trash. So much for all that moral agonizing.