There is a bag in the cab

Bikram Vohra
Filed on August 19, 2020 | Last updated on August 19, 2020 at 08.32 pm

Many years ago, I asked 10 people what they would do if they discovered a bag loaded with cash and gold in the back of a cab they were riding in. All 10 said they would give it to the police.

You wouldn't even think of keeping it.

No.

Not even a passing thought.

My conscience wouldn't let me.

What if you chatted up your conscience, sort of told it to look the other way, gave it a wink and a nod.

Sorry, not my scene, I don't do theft. Need to sleep at night. Can't have guilt hovering over me.

Would you tell the cabbie?

Ten of the ten: no, we'd drive to the police station.

Why wouldn't you tell the driver, could be his bag?

Why'd a cabbie have so much money in his car?

Well, that is a presumption you are making, right, you are assuming the cabbie is poor, untrustworthy and you are usurping his right to deal with content that is on his territory, not yours. By rights, if you are not going to swipe it, you should either be silent and leave the bag as it is or inform him that it is there.

Nine nod semi-wisely. One says, I hired the cab, it is my territory, so I should be able to make the decision.

Argument: sounds smart but the contract does not allow you to pick up something from that space; it only allows you to use that convenience it offers.

But I am paying for it, so it is mine.

You stay in a hotel, you pay for it, but you cannot take the TV or a painting off the wall.

Hmmm.

The moment you leave the cab, the rights collapse and you have no right to judge the cabbie or his intent, you can inform him of the goods, but you cannot ask him to drive to the police unless you have obtained an explanation from him that does not sit well with you.

What if he gets violent and goes for me?

That is a possible scenario but then, leave it as is.

Wouldn't I be reneging on my civic duty?

Why are you assuming that it is contraband, it isn't your business unless you plan to take it in part or whole but back to the main point, forget the cab, what if you are going to your car in the parking area and you see a mobile phone lying on the ground, what'd you do?

All 10 said, if I found a mobile lying on the road.

But you did not find it, it wasn't lost, you just chanced upon it. Now, would you keep it?

No, don't answer that for the fear of being incriminated.
bikram@khaleejtimes.com


 
 
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