This is an abstract from “The Indigo Stories” by Alexander Iscenco.
I tend to make “stupid” decisions. These decisions are illogical, unwise, and, most importantly, unprofitable. They lead me to loosing wonderful opportunities that are almost “served” to me like a delicious dish.
Today (October 11th, 2010) has been marked by another decision-making of this kind. During my Master studies in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, I rent an apartment in a student dormitory. It is very expensive – I pay around 6000 Danish kroner (DKK) each month – but it provides good and quiet study conditions.
This afternoon I have paid a visit to a bank to transfer another monthly rent and get some money in cash for food. I asked a man at the service desk to do the transfer from my account to the one of the University of Copenhagen (the Housing Department to be more precise) and to withdraw one thousand DKK from my account. The man did everything and gave me the amount of money requested and two receipts for the two operations performed. I noticed something incorrect in the receipts, but decided to examine them carefully later.
When I returned to the University library, finished my study tasks, and looked through the receipts, I was very surprised to notice that 1000 DKK I had received were deducted NOT from my account. The bank officer must have used the first receipt (the one for the rent transfer) for performing the second operation (debiting the amount requested) and incidentally mixed up the account numbers there. So, it seemed I had ended up with an extra 1000 DKK in my pocket, which was equal to my monthly food budget.
The temptation had lasted for several minutes. I could have kept the money and for some period of time no one might found out the truth. Even if they did, it was all bank’s fault, and that fact was supported by documentary evidence. It looked like as this money had just been given to me.
However, I went back to the bank and showed the officer the mistake. After some minutes of understanding what had been wrong, the officer got the point and corrected the mistake immediately by crediting 1000 DKK back to the University account and debiting the same amount from my own.
I left them with a happy and proud smile on my face.
But what was there to be happy and proud about? I have lost quite large amount of money that was given to me for nothing. For that I have spent some of my time and efforts. In addition, there has not been any “whisper of conscience” or anything like that – just my own “stupid” decision.
I was riding a bike along with other cyclists on the busy roads of central Copenhagen. Suddenly a mobile phone dropped out of the back pocket of one of the cyclists in front of me. The guy did not notice anything and continued his way along one of the canals.
I stopped and picked up the phone – it was a shiny modern and quite expensive model. It could have been mine…
But, no, I had to run after the guy across the street on a red light, shouting all the way in order to attract his attention. Finally, he noticed me and recognized his mobile phone. Upon receiving the missing item the guy said something in Danish, probably about the foolish idea of keeping a phone in a back pocket, thanked me, and rode away.
So, what did I get from this action? Some Danish sentence and a short “Tak!” (“Thank you!” in Danish) in exchange for a good-looking mobile phone. Therefore, what was the point of such behaviour, especially when considering that all other cyclists and pedestrians had shown total ignorance?
Truly, I tend to make such unreasonable decisions. From the economic point of view they are extremely senseless and stupid. They do not bring any profit; moreover such decision-making gets me to lose some time and look “different” in the eyes of other people. There is nothing to gain here.
Or is there?
Probably you expect some nicely looking learning point from these examples as a conclusion. Something like “Be stupid”, “Listen to your brain, but trust your heart”, “Follow the ethical way”, and so on. But I prefer to leave this part for you.
On the other hand, perhaps we do not need a conclusion. Maybe there is nothing to conclude here.
Certainly you do not want to be treated as “stupid” and “different”, do you? Especially if it does not bring any profit or other tangible benefit. So, why bother about it? Development and growth of the Human World are based upon rational, carefully thought decisions, both individual and common. There is no place for “stupidity”.