This morning as I was walking through the parking lot enjoying the feeling of the noticeably fine spring weather, I glanced down and saw a crumpled wad of money. The money was right in the walkway, not by any particular car, and the walkway is used by more than just grad students. Plus, with the parking lot half full already, can I reasonably be expected to find out who the sweet moolah belongs to? So I picked it up and pocketed it. When I got to my carrel, I pulled the cashola out of my pocket and unfolded it to find that there were two one dollar bills. They aren't new, but they have a starchy feel, as though someone forgot about the money in his pocket and washed his pants with the money in them.
I have to confess, it is that starchy feeling that is eating away at my conscience right now. What if this $2 belong to some poor student who has a wife and little kid at home, and they are trying hard to make ends meet, and this was his lunch money left in his freshly laundered pants by his sweet, supportive wife? But then I start to wonder whether this is some trick brewed up by a sociology student - drop money in a parking lot and see how the Finder responds - and then I start feeling dumb, like maybe there was a right answer about how to react, like call out "hey, anybody around here lose any money?". Only there was nobody around.
I am sitting here now with a ridiculous urge to take the two dollars back to the parking lot and drop it where I found it. It's not that I think that the original owner will find and claim it, but somebody else can notice the money and figure out what to do with it, right?
Moral dilemmas on Monday mornings after General Conference feel like pop quizzes.