When I was a teenager, some friends and I were hanging out in a park one evening when we came across a wallet lying in the grass. We opened it up to see if there was an ID and sure enough, there was, along with sixty bucks. Right away, we all agreed to bring it to the local precinct, but first we had a little fun and tossed it in a circle like a football. While playing catch, we briefly entertained the idea of keeping the cash, as any teenager would. But in the end, we did the right thing and turned the wallet in. In that case, the 'right thing' to do was pretty obvious, which made the decision easy. But what if we had found an unmarked envelope of cash in the middle of an empty sidewalk and no way to trace it back to whoever dropped it? What is the correct and moral way to respond in that sort of scenario?
@bebe1969 recently pitched a similar question to Twitter after her son discovered $500 tucked into the pages of a Clockwork Orange book he bought at Goodwill for 50 cents. 'What would you do?' she asked. Most agreed that it was up to him—that it was his money to keep or give to charity if he felt uncomfortable about it. But people were surprisingly divided on the subject. When some argued that he should return the money, others questioned the integrity of Goodwill itself. One person made the point that maybe the book's original owner wanted its buyer to have the money. We'll never know, but these questions are pretty interesting. What would you do?