While at work today (I drive for a living; so I'm all over the county) I happened to glance down and notice a folded white piece of paper on snow-covered road. It appears to be just any old piece of litter, but on closer inspection I notice that it is wrapped around what most of us would call "mullah". Well, I pick it up and toss it onto the console for later inspection; as I've got some driving to do. I'm wondering how much money is there...
When I have a minute I unfold the treasure and lo and behold there is a whole three dollars...wrapped in a bank withdrawal slip. Hmm.
Now, it's not like I don't have three dollars at my immediate disposal and that whoever lost this money may very well be more hard up for cash than I am. So then and there I decide that it's the right thing to do to return it if I can.
The bank withdrawal slip has the account holders name, date of withdrawal and bank name (of course). Lucky them :P
So, I'm driving around for a good part of the day until I can finally stop into the branch office and drop this money off. In the meantime a thought occurred to me: "I betcha the teller is going to say something like: 'God will bless you for this'".
There is no two ways about it now! I absolutely had to turn this money in just to hear what the teller would say.
I get to the branch office and walk in (one teller...it's a small town) but there is one other customer in line before me. So I wait and am figuratively tapping my foot as I need to get going onto my route. It's my turn in the queue and I walk up and explain why I am there. At first she was a bit perplexed, as I'm sure she doesn't get many people in there returning lost money. After that we get to chatting about the lost money and I explain that I really don't have any use for a measly three dollars that I don't already have available for myself, etc. And she goes on to say something to the effect that "Well, if it were fifty-thousand that might be a different story!" and I nonchalantly concur because I need to get moving...let's cut the chit-chat lady! I need to go!
Then she notices my name tag (I have an ID tag dangling from my coat collar) and wants to write my information down. Jeez! I'm pressed for time. And I honestly don't need recognition for this (though it's kinda cool to think about anyway; but it's not something I would dwell on). So she takes down my name and the company I work for (which, as an after thought, was probably a bonus as it will get reported to my supervisors...not that i care all that much for MY prestige...but that I did the right thing representing the agency. The place I work for means a great deal to me and it's reputation).

Anyway. I'm just about done with the teller and sure enough...
"God will reward you for this!" *ugh*

Jebus! I wanted to counter with something but I figured I would leave well enough alone.
What I wanted to say was something to the effect of "I don't need God to do the right thing."

In hindsight I really wanted to let this person know that a non-believer could "do the right thing" without any moral imperative from a god. To at least let this person know that there are people out there who don't believe in a god who really do have moral principles.

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Comment by Frink on January 29, 2009 at 2:06pm
If I found three dollars on the ground with a bank slip, I'd claim moral expediency and not turn it in. We are only obligated so far to "do the right thing." Similarly, if I got all the way home before realizing the cashier at the grocer had given me five dollars more than I was owed, by that point I wouldn't turn around and give it back.
Comment by Sniz on January 29, 2009 at 3:47pm
I gotta agree with Frink here. I applaud your efforts, but for three bucks, I wouldn't make a point of returning it. If I was feelings kinda guilty, maybe I'd drop it in once of those charity jars at a gas station or something.

I totally understand your desire to let people know that you do not need a higher force guiding you to make good decisions. Its frustrating when religious people argue that you can't be good without God. I'm good for goodness sake...because I want to see people happy, because I'd want the same done to me. It makes us BETTER people because we don't do it just because "its what Jesus would want."
Comment by LarroFCD on January 30, 2009 at 6:52pm
Well, I didn't need the three bucks as bad as somebody going to their bank to withdraw said three dollars. So I figured they must need it more than I do. If I were scraping by and had to go to the bank and withdraw three dollars I'm surely on hard times.

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