This is my son Jack when he was a little boy (he is 25 now). When he was around 8 or so, we were on the plane and he started feeling sick. We gave him the sick bag provided by the airline, the generic one that you can find in front of every seat on the plane.
In any event, Jack did not throw up, but was still looking rather green on the gills when we landed. We told him to take the bag with him, just in case.
He looked very concerned and asked us, “Am I allowed to remove this from the plane?”
Of course, we laughed. It’s just a cheap – almost worthless – paper bag, right?
We have been duped many times in our lives. We just don’t know it. I am no exception. A few years ago, I was badly duped. Not only did it cost me money but also two years of my life which is a whole lot more precious than money.
When I confronted the person who so callously strung me along, I was met with a barrage of very earnest denial. That person denied that was what happened, despite the overwhelming evidence and facts. He genuinely believed that he acted in good faith. For a while, I doubted him. Now, incredibly, I do believe him. Who knows, I may be guilty of doing the same too, in my everyday life, to several people, unwittingly.
Thanks to my psychologist friend (we continue to talk about this), who sent me this illuminating book:
Here’s the video:
No, it is not to moralise, but to think about our own rationale driving our actions. Any intelligent person could always make excuse to justify his/her actions, to the extent that it is completely believable, even to the person himself/herself.
We believe what we want to believe.
So perhaps my little Jack was behaving correctly all along when he wanted to ask permission to remove a worthless paper bag from the plane….because it is so easy to slip from stealing a nondescript little item to stealing something infinitely more valuable. Mea culpa.