Obligation and opportunity


When you walk by a shirt that’s been knocked to the floor from a rack in a department store, do you:

  1. pick it up?
  2. pick it up if someone’s watching?
  3. step over it and mutter “that’s not my job” to yourself?
  4. fail to see the shirt at all?

Painting in unfairly broad strokes, based on completely unscientific observation, I’m of the mind that the situation above indicates how generous a person is: to the homeless, to servers and hostesses, to housekeeping at hotels, and to family members.

Some people look for opportunities to do good, others do it when they feel pressured to socially, and everyone else falls somewhere in between.