Monday, April 27

The United Kingdom – the trust society

The United Kingdom is a good place to be in, despite the idiot government in charge. The main difference is that the people here have made a trust society. People trust each other. That doesnt mean that there is no crime or racism or what have you. It does mean that people trust and respect each other. It shows up in small things. People queue up for buses. People will pick up garbage on the road and drop it off in the bin. People will wait and let others pass them on the streets. People get up and allow old people, women and children sit on their previously occupied seats. And somewhere I read about how things are returned to the lost and found departments of the railways etc. etc. to an amazing degree. But this chap does an experiment with money and proves in a small way that the UK is a trust based society. How many countries would you say you would find this kind of behaviour?

Some quotes:

Where better to begin a search for greed and avarice than the City of London, home to bankers and financiers who have fallen on hard times and might be looking to pocket the odd free £20?

First stop for our reporter was a cash point outside a branch of Tesco, in Moorgate. His task? To withdraw £20, carelessly leave it behind, and see if the next person in the queue would pocket the cash or try to return it.

Tempting the office workers and shoppers of Moorgate, however, proved harder than anticipated.

Despite four separate attempts to give the person behind in the queue the opportunity to pick up the cash and disappear with it, all four were honest enough to chase down our reporter in order to hand back the money.

One customer even raced as far as Tesco's vegetable aisle to return our money.

…..We turned to social psychologist Dr Gary Wood to explain why – amid the worst economic crisis since the 1930s – the vast majority of people were able to resist the temptation of free money.

"We tend to have a jaded view of human nature, but by and large what you find is that people usually do the right thing," he said. "The principle people look for is, 'Would it happen to me?' It is an extension of manners and courtesy.

"The author, PG Wodehouse, used to seal his letters, put a stamp on them and then throw them out of the window to see if people would post them on his behalf, and most of the time they did."

Curious, did you know PGW did that? and he is, perhaps the finest comic writers of the last century :)

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