December 18th, 2006

Toph points

Yeah, Let's Break Some RULES!

I am slightly perplexed by my moral code.

This afternoon, I went to the post office to mail a Christmas present. I got the appropriate-size ReadyPost envelope, addressed it, and got in line. That was when I discovered that my present was about half an inch too wide. Try as I might, I could not fit it into the envelope.

Well, this was lame. I had just wasted the envelope. But, then again, I hadn't even paid for it. I could just throw it in the trash, right? No one would be the wiser. But wouldn't that be tantamount to stealing?

I...put the envelope back with the others. As if someone might actually attempt to use it. As if my damn address weren't on there and they wouldn't be able to hunt me down.

I was having a crisis of conscience over $1.29, you guys. It wasn't like the government would fall apart here.

Finally, I retrieved the envelope and resolved to pay for it. I could surely use it another time; thankfully, I hadn't removed the protective strip over the adhesive.

Later that day, I searched for a travel charger for Pipsqueak. I'm going home for a week on Wednesday, and it seems that over half my time will be spent at a wedding in Austin, so I was afraid I wouldn't have access to a computer to charge my iPod Shuffle. I was pleasantly surprised to find some cheap chargers, but I needed it NOW and couldn't wait for it to ship. So I checked prices at Circuit City and Best Buy and discovered that, what the hell, they were thirty or forty bucks. Why would I pay that much when I could get one for six? But I needed it for the coming week.

So I bought one from Circuit City. With the intent to use it for a week and then return it. Now, that doesn't necessarily break any rules, but it still feels really shady and unethical, yet I am doing it anyway because whatever, right, they won't miss it. I've even worked in retail, so I know what I'm doing is wrong in a sense; that week I keep it is a week someone who may actually intend to buy it for life won't be able to. But it's Circuit City, so whatever, right?

We all do this to some extent, I think. Everyone speeds. Who comes to a full and complete stop at every single stop sign? The rules were made to be bent, it seems. It makes me wonder at the things we do and how we justify them. It's okay to cheat the big corporations because they have gobs of money, but damn if you don't feel like a shit for pulling the same sort of thing at an independent business.

If we all make our own rules, what's the point in having rules?

That's a heavy question, I know. So here's some heavy...metal.

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