Jared Gray is an 18-year-old high school student who works as a janitor for Southern Utah University. One day he found a bag of cash lying in the parking lot, obviously one of the schoolâ€™s deposit bags.
The bag was labeled with the amount: $108,000.
Jared didnâ€™t hesitate to return the cash, saying he was raised to be honest. To express their gratitude, SUU officials will give him a scholarship if he attends the university.
Most people would applaud Jaredâ€™s honesty. Sadly, though, not everyone. A number of people, posting to the CBS News website, called the young man a â€œloserâ€ or â€œstupidâ€ for not keeping the dough.
Apparently, they assume itâ€™s reasonable to steal whenever one is unlikely to get caught. If so, wouldnâ€™t it also be reasonable actively to pursue such opportunities â€” in short, to become a career criminal?
That makes we who work â€œsuckers.â€
If youâ€™re going to live a moral life, itâ€™s common sense to live it on principle. This means you donâ€™t become an entirely different person, a crook, when itâ€™s allegedly â€œeasyâ€ to do so. Easy, that is, for a person of poor character.
Starting life as a crook would have blighted Jaredâ€™s whole life. Instead, now heâ€™ll always be able to recall his easy good deed with pride; and, happily, people who know him will be able to trust him . . . stuff thatâ€™s more valuable than money itself.
This is Common Sense. Iâ€™m Paul Jacob.