18 金 Lesson19 Ethical Values (6)
Our current vignette describes how Alyce Collins returned a lost smartphone and turned down the owner’s offer of a reward. Opinions differ, whether she should have taken the money. What’s your position, Heather?
I’m with Alyce and Pat McMillan. To the greatest extent possible, I think good deed should not be transactional.
Do we really want to live in a world where people only help each other if they think they can get something out of it or have to pay others to be decent?
If I incur some truly significant expense or put myself at serious risk, oh, okay. incur, 損害などをうける
Maybe then I should be compensated. But even then, I think I would try to avoid it except in extreme cases. There’s enough greed in the world. Enough people who always wanna know what’s in this for me. I don’t wanna add to the avarice.
So, you wouldn’t want part of the money if you found a wallet in Tokyo?
No. I couldn’t accept it. That’s someone else’s money earned through their hard work. Hope they earned it through hard work. They would already have gone through the stress and inconvenience of losing their wallet. And then I take away from some of the relief of getting it back by helping myself to a slice of their money?
Some might say, “Well, you did help them get their money back. So shouldn’t you be compensated in a way for that service?”
Again, I’d say “no” because I think I have a moral obligation to try and help them get their money back.
If I helped a lost child find their mother and the mother tried to give me money in thanks, I would absolutely refuse it.
I think it’s the same sort of thing.
The vignette also talks about how different countries have different customs.
What some see as friendly gestures or kind of business expense, others consider graft or bribery.
I was traveling once in a foreign country – let’s not stay which – and I was at a local travel agency arranging to
go on a boat cruise or something. All of a sudden in walks a policeman. He didn’t say a single word, and neither did the staffer who was helping my husband and me. She just pulled an envelope out of a drawer, with nothing written on it, and handed it to the cop. He walked out and she went right back to helping us.
Another tourist we met on that trip was involved in a traffic accident. She said that three different policemen showed up almost immediately after the crash demanding bribes from her taxi driver.
I’ve heard similar stories. For example, when I was running a public relations firm in Tokyo, 広報活動
one of my clients was a new general manager for a certain country in a certain corner of the world.
He was having trouble getting his furniture through customs, and the customs officials dropped hints that a little baksheesh could perhaps speed up the whole process.
They wanted a few hundred dollars. That wasn’t too bad, but irrespective of the amount, it was against company policy to pay money under the table.
Then what happened?
The customs officials said, “All right then, we’ll go through the regular procedure and keep your stereo set, sofa and other stuff in our temporary warehouse. You’ll probably get them all by the end of the rainy season in a month or two. Oh, by the way, there’s no roof on our warehouse.” It was a catch-22. どうもがいても解決策が見つからないジレンマ［板挟み状態
What’s right, what’s fair and what’s in your best interest may be different things to different folks.
How was it resolved in the end?
You don’t want to know, Heather, I assure you.
Well, now I’m really intrigued.
Do not catch a good opportunity.
Opportunity seldom knocks twice.
Fortune knocks at least once at every man’s gate.