Monday, June 29, 2009

Money & Honesty .... Temptations

Money changes everyone, changes everything.... is it so? Well for sure Love Changes Everything according to Climie Fisher.. here I go again digressing, must be the influence of those 90s songs I am listening to now...

Back to money and honesty, a seemingly ordinary non-event incident recently made me think about the effect of money on the level of our honesty. Over the years I am sure some, many of us had come across money lying on the pavement, floor. What do we do with it? I remember when I was still a kid, came across two dollars lying on the jambatan or bridge, it felt like durian runtuh (windfall). Did I bother to ask around? No way. I just took the money and headed to the nearest KK. Not Kota Kinabalu but the nearest Indian Shop better known as Kadai Kaling. Kadai si Kadir to be exact. Two dollars worth a lot those days, even more so to a little kid. Errands such as buying “tong gas” or gas cylinders only earned little boys 50 cents, one dollar if we were lucky. That was rolling the cylinders along the bridge, not an easy feat, very tricky indeed. So two dollars was like winning a lottery. If tikam-tikaman (I wonder if any of the current generation know this game, or was it gambling?), to get 50 cents was very hard especially with low probability, let alone one or two dollars.

Recently while walking about around the third best airport in the world, contemplating to get the iPod docking alarm clock or not, a ritual whenever I am at this particular airport, I almost stepped on some money, obviously not mine, must have dropped by somebody. Upon further inspection, it was only seventeen dollars from a GST refund. First thing on my mind, what do I do with it? Take it? Run away with it? If I am a little kid, maybe I would have done that. Being a good civic minded person (angkat bakul eh), I went to the nearest information counter, reported it and left the money with the ladies there. As I walked away I was feeling happy and proud as I have done the right thing again. I remembered I did the same thing when I found a communicator handphone at one of the eating places in the same airport.

Not giving the incident much thought, boarded the plane and tried to get some sleep. Then a thought start to nag me. What if the money on that floor was a lot? What if it was hundreds of dollars? What would have I done? Would it be silly to leave it at the information counter not knowing if the money will ever get back to the rightful owner? Would I start thinking that it was rezeki for me to get the iPod Docking alarm radio? Many questions ran through my head. May be I would still do the same thing but was it a certainty I would do that? May be yes, maybe not....

Despite most, a lot of us, if not all, knowing honesty is the best policy, the right thing to do at all times, when it comes to money, it is not a certainty we will do the right thing. The amount, the situation, the scenario may lead to different outcomes. Temptations, cobaan as Bujang Lapok called it will always be there. Many cases over the years of people fallen to the lure and temptation of the dollar signs. May be we can ask Climie Fisher to rewrite the lyrics to their hit song and titled it “Money Changes Everything” .... may be...

Finally bought the iPod Docking Alarm Clock after four rounds of ritualistic pondering contemplation stretched over a period of many months. Well it was worth it. Booming bass sound from such a small box is just marvellous. Fergie of Black Eyed Peas would be shouting .... Fabulous!

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