I was meaning to write this for some time now.
Last month, a local news which lead to a lot of discussion everywhere was this – how much or how should one reward honesty. (Read the news here)
A cab driver found that a passenger had forgot 36,000 AED (Dirhams, the local currency – about 9800 US $, over five lakh in Indian Rupees). It took him over two hours but he tried his best to track down the customer and give him back his possession. And surprise of all surprises, the customer handed him 10 AED (close to 3 US $, and 145 Indian Ruppes) as a reward of his honesty.
HOW DOES IT MAKE HIM FEEL
The taxi drive does admit that it made him feel a little bad but he doesn’t really mind. He would have returned it irrespective of the reward. And that’s what he would do if something like this happened again. And I think that is very commendable of him.
In a similar incident, a few days back a cab driver found a bag containing a laptop, some money, a watch, cheque books and a watch. He too, tracked down the passenger and returned the belongings. The passenger thanked him and the cab driver says that is enough.
HOW DO WE REWARD HONESTY
Though I would agree 10 AED is too little, I feel a simple thank you is okay most of the times. Most of the discussion surrounding the incident agree that 10 is too little but the cab driver has set a very good example. And that should be kept in mind.
HOW MUCH IS HONESTY WORTH
Maybe rewarding honesty just increases the chances of the behavior being rewarded again. It’s like praising a child because he /she told the truth. Maybe even offering the child a candy. But what do we do when adults are involved. All of us have a conscience, but being rewarded for it just strengthens it, or makes it more awakened. But does not rewarding it in kind a bad thing?
Is it always important to reward honesty or is morality the bigger picture here. And if rewarding honesty is important, then how much is honesty worth. Is it directly proportional to the amount you are being honest about? Or will any amount do.
Have you been faced with a similar situation ever – either giving or receiving end?
Have you rewarded honesty? How?
Is a thank you enough at times?