I found the most amazing thing in the parking lot of a gas station yesterday.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve found some pretty amazing things on the ground– mostly money, a few tens, a few twenties, things that people lose but don’t usually go back for or can’t claim at a lost and found.

Yesterday, I found a Nintendo DS.

I have to admit, my first thought was something along the lines of “Holy– sweet!” but as I turned the thing over in my hands and looked at it, realizing what a prize I’d found, it also struck me as what a prize someone else had lost. I’ve seen DS’s in the store– they’re not cheap, and they’re certainly out of my spending range. “Should I keep it?” I wondered. It was a sure bet that I probably wouldn’t get a chance to hold one in my hands again until Nintendo came out with something better and slashed the price on the DS to somewhere near reasonable, and by then it might not even matter anymore. I stood there in the rain just looking at it for probably five seconds, torn.

And then my ethics kicked in.

I’m not a religious person, but I live by one singular rule, a code that I think is valid in any situation where one is presented with a moral dilemma: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

So I took it into the gas station and gave it to the attendant, hoping that the person who lost it would come back looking for it and ask the attendant those hopeful words: “Has anyone turned in a...”

Because if it was my DS, I’d hope, even expect someone else to do the same for me.

It’s not a perfect world, there are plenty of unethical things going on everyday that we cannot change, but what we can do is teach by example. We can live ethically, simply because to do otherwise is to be a douchebag, and if enough of us do it, we can change the world.

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