Social Experiment



Well hello everyone and happy Sunday!

Usually Dharma offers advice and tips on how to handle the problems of everyday life, but today we’re doing something a bit different!

Recently we had an interesting occurrence which resulted in Dharma conducting a little social experiment and I thought I would share it with you, my lovely readers.

Last week on my way home from walking Bob the Wonderdog, I saw a pile of “stuff” dumped on the outside perimeter of our yard.  I was in my car, so I wasn’t able to go right up and investigate, so I didn’t really know what it was.

I asked Mr. Dharma if he could go check it out when he was next outside, and it turned out to be a bunch of papers and file folders.  He thought maybe someone had their car broken into and that the thief rifled through everything and then dumped what wasn’t deemed to be valuable.  He brought everything up and initially said he would put it in the recycle bin for the next pickup.

In the moment, I’ll admit I didn’t think much of it and went about my life.  If Mr. Dharma hadn’t collected everything and brought inside I don’t know if I would have done much more about it.

As I walked past the immense pile of “stuff” the next day, it piqued my curiousity, and I started to go through it.  Turned out there were insurance papers and service records mixed into a variety of other papers, both containing a name and contact information.

And I thought, you know what?

This guy needs to know we have this stuff, I’m going to give him a call.

So I did.  He was extremely happy to hear from us, as yes indeed his car had been broken into, and the culprit took off with a banker’s box full of papers.

Next day I’m telling a friend our little story, and his response was that he couldn’t believe we went through the trouble.  Collecting the stuff, looking through the stuff, calling the guy, arranging a pick up – meh… so not my problem.

Dharma was shocked, shocked I tell you!  You’ve got to be kidding, I said.  I think most anyone would do the same thing!  Ask your wife, I said, she’ll back me on this.  So he presented her with the situation and whaaaaat?  She said, “Nope, not my problem.”

For a few minutes, Dharma’s faith in humanity was rattled.

The Social Experiment

But then, but then… no!  Dharma wasn’t going to settle for this, so she immediately sent out a poll to friends and family outlining the base scenario and asking what they would do.  Because Dharma’s like that.  She needs to know.

At first it was bleak…

The first couple of answers were sketchy, with people saying they probably wouldn’t do anything at all, but then whooot! The winds shifted and the crowd started to do the right thing.  “Contact the owner” won with resounding numbers, and most people added that they would want someone to do the same for them if the situation were reversed.

Exactly, right?  It made me think a bit of this recent post by Dharma.

Anyway, that’s it.  That’s my story today.  No great words of wisdom, no earth shattering problem to be solved.  Just this story, and a renewed belief that most people are decent at heart.  Except for my friend and his wife, haha – they suck.  🙂



Got a question for Dharma? She’s probably got an answer!

Go on, submit your question in the contact form on the toolbar. You know you want to! To submit anonymously, just make up a fake name and email – as long as the fields are populated, it works!

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Whether you agree with Dharma or think she missed the mark on this one, leave a Comment!

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