Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Double Edged Sword of Being Honest

True story:

I found a lady's purse last week in a very busy parking lot. I opened it up to see the ID, and it was filled with credit cards and cash. I didn't count the cash, I didn't even thoroughly open up and inspect the purse, my immediate reaction was to turn the purse in, and I did.

Even though I dream about finding a suitcase full of money, it never occurred to me what I would do if I found money with identification cards connecting it to a real person. I always dreamed that I would find money anonymously, all cash, no ID, okay, but in this case, I found a purse with identification, and my first thought was to turn it in, with no thought for reward, it just felt like the right thing to do. After all it wasn't my money, and if I were in that situation I would hope that someone would turn in my wallet too.

So I turn it in, and later I thought, hmm, maybe I'll get a reward. At the time that I turned it in, I wasn't thinking about that. It was truly a random act of kindness, genuine charity given without any expectation of receiving anything in return. But after the fact, I thought about reward, but there turned out to be no reward, and I felt a bit bad about it, because I'm really broke, and hurting for money. I began having doubts. Maybe I should have kept the money. I never counted how much there was, but I'm pretty much borderline destitute, whatever it was would have helped, we're talking grocery money here, I could have used it.

So, I'm once again in a process of transition. Am unemployed, can't even cat-sit anymore, or run errands for my neighbor, that stream of easy money has ended. I've been seriously investigating online sources of income, making money at home, doing surveys, data entry, transcription, whatever. And as a result of my research I find a legit work at home opportunity, and I'm excited about it, signed up, and eager to work, but guess what, for tax purposes they can't confirm my identity, for whatever reason. Meanwhile, the fake profile I created for surveys, has been a good money maker, 100 dollars in two weeks, with less than a full days work, but the catch is, the payment is only in gift cards. How is it that I make money fast committing survey fraud, but when I give all my information, am totally honest, giving my full name, SSN, address, totally upfront and legit, I'm rejected?

Yep, it's the sort of thing that causes a person to turn to committing a crime, or committing suicide.

Trust me, I'll do neither, just saying, I can understand why our world is fucked up, why poor people become criminals because they are fucked over one too many times, and there is no support. Believe me, you find yourself all alone without family or friends, or people that know you. And you need money, you need food, you need a job, but guess what you've got no identification, and nobody will help you. It's all bureaucratic red tape, welcome to the machine. Ironically, despite being a loner, who doesn't really much like people, I think I hate machines even more. Imagine a world where you're shopping at a store, and there's no human cashiers, it's all automated. Guess what happens when there's a problem. Like let's say you go to pay, and even though you know you've got plenty of money in your account, the machine says you don't. Guess what, you're out of luck. Access denied. Access denied. Here's my information. Here's my proof of who I am, guess what, here's that ID you're looking for, oh the computer says I don't have an id, it's not in the system, guess what, you're out of luck.


You could say that forever, and it will make no difference, because guess what, in a machine world programmed for stupidity, there's no way to win, there's no way to reason, there's no way to live.

I'm just really pissed off. Thought I found a loophole, and I did for getting free stuff on amazon, and that won't last long, but in terms of real hard cash, being honest has gotten me nowhere. Ironically, I also realize that being dishonest get's you nowhere as well. Sure, there's the immediate gratification of instant success, but whatever success is gained is very short lived. It's got no longevity. Short term gain, long term failure.

Better to sever all ties to attachment, sever all ties to material gain.

That is the Taoist sage in me speaking. That's a topic for another post.