Let’s imagine I’m walking down the block and I find a wallet on the ground.  I open it up.  Inside, I see a driver’s license with an address.  The wallet also contains $5000 dollars. 

What am I going to do? 

I’m going to contact this person and return the wallet, with the money still inside.  I’m not even going to think about keeping the money for myself. 

I know this is the right thing to do.  But why?  Cause my mother taught me to do this?  What does she know?!  She used to serve me margarine with all that trans-fat rather than butter?

This is an example of the type of sh*t you think about when you go to therapy too much and you start becoming f*cked up.  

Here’s are my current thoughts on this important “wallet” matter.  If I was religious, I wouldn’t keep the money because I would be afraid of sinning.  God would see me taking the money, shaking his head in disappointment.  I might even get karma kicking me in the ass.

But I don’t believe in any of that.  If I took the money, NO ONE would know, NOTHING BAD WOULD HAPPEN TO ME, and I would have 5000 bucks to live it up in Paris for four days, drinking champagne with lanky French fashion models.

Of course, the reason I don’t take the money is that if I did, I would feel like a SCHMUCK. This feeling is not based on any scientific fact.  It is based on some religious system of morality, of right and wrong.  And a morality without any real consequences. 

You only live once.  You need to grab what you can in life.  So, who’s the bigger schmuck?  The guy who gives the money back and gets nothing in return?  Or the guy who keeps the money, goes to Paris, has a naked French model dance for him in his hotel room, writes a terrific blog post about his experience, and then wins a Pulitzer Prize for his novel “Paris on 5000 Dollars.”

Two years ago on Citizen of the Month:  Neilochka Sez:  Boycott the Fashion Industry