What would Jesus do?
On Wednesday, March 2nd I was standing on the Sumiyoshi Station subway platform. I was tired - sort of like an immobile zombie. I heard a coin hit the cement platform and almost immediately noticed that it fell from the hand/pocket/purse of an older woman walking down the platform. (Walking down the platform playing with her money, with her head down, not paying attention to her surroundings. That platform has no safety barriers [yet] so paying attention is a good idea.) It was a brown 10-yen coin, the equivalent of a dime in Canada, but worth a little more. I just stood there, watching it. I was a zombie. But suddenly a younger woman rushed forward, picked up the coin and chased after the older person who had already walked further down the platform, to return it. I thought, that's Japanese honesty, helpfulness and courtesy. Would an average Canadian or American do likewise for a mere dime? Dutifully return it to the owner? Track down and pursue the owner in order to return lost property? Not likely, I thought.
Japanese honesty is legendary in this regard - stories of how people go out of their way to return what foreigners might deem negligible items. Or else, return something of such great value that the temptation simply to keep/steal it is nigh irresistible. Their treatment of lost negligible items is such that it becomes a sophomoric ethical mental exercise: What would do if …? What would Jesus do?