Mitch bought a pair of tires for his bicycle on-line.
They were a good deal!
A week later an email confirmed that Mitch had already received the tires.
Mitch did not get anything. Mitch called the company a day later after going through their “black and white” system of questions on-line.
“Where is my stuff?” was the right selection to get the company to call Mitch within 5 minutes…
Ms. Bianca explained to Mitch that it was the policy of the company to wait for a week before sending a replacement order, for the tires could be with a neighbor! Nevertheless, she was going to send a replacement order immediately…Ms. Bianca emphasized that it would be appreciated if Mitch completed a survey about his experience on resolving this issue, which he should have in his email inbox in no time… 🙂
Mitch was happy. Mitch assured Ms. Bianca that he was going to complete the survey. Mitch was going to receive the tires exactly in a week!
Three days later, a neighbor showed up into Mitch’s place with the tires…
Mitch went to the website to stop the shipment of the replacement tires. He was able to find the “I don’t need the items” option in the system.
But… the items needed to arrive first before they were sent back AND because to return “something that Mitch didn’t need anymore” wasn’t the company’s “fault,” Mitch needed to pay the shipment back to them.
The moral/ethical question, ladies and gentleman is:
Should Mitch return the tires or not? 🙂
If a poll is open, we will have many “Yes” and many “No.”
Shall the “right” answer be “Yes and No”? 🙂
Certainly that cannot be the case.
Someone has to be “immoral” and the other side “moral.” 🙂
That is exactly how we label someone in any “big moral issue.” We judge. We think we are right.
Our belief is supported by some religious idea or some philosophy that we made up and labeled as “reason and logic.”
To be called “right or wrong” is of no consequence in living life, when we understand that every action has a return. Our human labeling has no consequence but to inflate or deflate someone’s ego.
Our morality based on “black or white” teachings that we have learned, could assure us that “we are right.”
Life however, could demonstrate otherwise… but we will not realize that or just overlook what is happening.
All we care about is to get the label: “ You are right, Mac!”
A week later, Mitch received a coupon to save money in his over due car oil change. The week after that, the passenger power window in his car wouldn’t open. Mitch drove the car to the dealer twice before it was fixed…however, his car was under warranty, and so he did not pay anything and got a free car wash… 🙂
Cause and effect in action… but humans are so caught up into being morally “right or wrong.”
By the way, what was Mitch’s decision?
That is a huge mystery to this day… 🙂
By Frei Betto
(translated by Google and Avyakt7 from a Spanish translation.)
When traveling to the East, I came into contact with the monks of Tibet, Mongolia, Japan and China. They were calm men, diligent, thoughtful and at peace with their saffron robes.
The other day, I was watching the movement of the Sao Paulo Airport: the waiting room full of executives with cell phones; they were worried, anxious, often eating more than they should.
For sure they had breakfast at home, but because the airline offered another breakfast, everyone ate that voraciously.
That made me reflect: “Which of the two models produce happiness?”
I met Daniela, a 10 years old girl; in the elevator, at 9 am, and asked: “Didn’t you go to school today?” She replied: “No, I go in the afternoon.”
I said, “Good, then you can play in the morning, sleep late… Right?”
“No,” she replied, “I have so many things in the morning …”
“What things?”, I asked.
“English classes, dance, painting, swimming,” and she began to detail her agenda of a robotic girl.
Then, I thought, “What a pity, Daniela does not have meditation classes!”
We are forming super-men and super-women, fully equipped; but emotionally childish.
A progressive city in Sao Paulo had, in 1960, six libraries and one Gym. Today there are sixty fitness centers and three libraries!
I have nothing against the improvement of the body, but I am worry about the disproportion in relation with the improvement of the spirit. I think we will die slender, “How was the deceased?”. “Oh, in great shape, she didn’t have any cellulite!”
But how do we answer the questions of subjectivity? the spiritual? and Love?
Today, the word is “virtual”. Everything is virtual. Locked in his room, in Brasilia, a man can have a girlfriend in Tokyo, but no worries about meeting his next door neighbor!
Everything is virtual. We are virtual mystics, virtually religious, virtual citizens; and we are also ethically virtual …
The word today is “entertainment;” Sunday, then, is the national day of collective stupidity.
Stupid is the program conductor, stupid is the one who sits in the audience to watch the program, stupid is the one who spends the whole afternoon in front of the TV screen.
As advertising fails to sell happiness, then, it creates the illusion that happiness is the result of a sum of pleasures: “If you take this cola, if you use these shoes, if you purchase this shirt, if you buy this car, you will be happy!”
The problem is that, in general, we do not get to be happy! Those who follow the trend, will develop their own desires in such a way, that will end up needing a psychoanalyst. Or a drug. Those who resist will increase their neurosis.
The great challenge is to begin to see how good it is to be free of that global conditioning, neoliberal, consumerism. Then, we can live better.
For good mental health three things are essential: Friendship, self-esteem and lack of stress.
There is a religious logic in post-modern consumerism. 🙂
In the Middle Ages, the city acquired a status by building a cathedral. Today, in Brazil, we construct a shopping-center- “mall,” instead.
Curiously, most of the shopping-centers have stylized architectural lines just as cathedrals. To visit them, we need to wear special clothes. It is necessary to wear Sunday mass clothing. Inside you feel a sense of paradise: No beggars or street children, and dirt …
You enter those places hearing a post-modern Gregorian tune, just like the one you hear while waiting for a dental appointment.
There are several niches to observe, all those chapels with venerable objects of consumption, accompanied by beautiful priestesses.
Those who can buy in cash, will feel in the kingdom of heaven.
If you must pay by post-dated check, or credit, you will feel in purgatory.
But if you cannot buy, certainly you will feel in hell …
Happily, it all ends in a post-modern Eucharist, brothers sitting in the same type of tables, with the same juice and the same McDonald’s burger …
I usually tell employees who approach me by the doors of their business: “I’m just doing a Socratic walk”. Then, before their frightened eyes, I will explain: “Socrates, a Greek philosopher, also liked to rest by walking by the commercial center of Athens…
When sellers like yourself besieged him, he would reply to them … “I’m just looking at how many things are there, I do not need to be happy”!”