Ethics versus pragmatism
Herein lies the ageless battle between the human heart and a reasoning mind.
An umbrella is left in the train. An umbrella forgotten by a tired passenger, one of hundreds if not thousands lost in Tokyo EVERY SINGLE TIME IT RAINS. What happens to these umbrellas? At the last stop, when the railway ceases operation for the day, one guy walks through the cars, picks them all up, and puts them in a box which is moved weekly to a very large box at some major station, whereupon they will wait some indeterminate amount of time until an owner takes the trouble to go all the way out to Shinjuku (after first remembering, making a note, and vowing to waste an evening doing it), and jump through some hoops and forms to get it back. That, or it goes in the trash or some umbrella recycling center that benefits starving, homeless, veteran babies.
But it’s someone ELSE’S umbrella.
But if I don’t take it, it’s basically landfill fodder. And I don’t have an umbrella.
Yeah, but common sense and sensible earth-love says that if there is a chance to use something instead of have it be chucked into a smelly, toxic hole, USE IT!! I use EVERYTHING until it decomposes on its own (wearing a pair of Bugle Boy cords 13 years and counting).
Besides, Matt says umbrellas are the courtesy currency of the world. You lose one, you take one. They trade hands and states so easily they might as well be Lincolns.
But Mr. Jefferson would be disappointed in me!
So, after the fifteen minute ride has ended, one side wins in desperation. The battle of ethics versus pragmatism is over, and I have a new wooden-handled umbrella.