Is honesty your policy?

Finding a lost item that belongs to someone else brings a decision to make: Should I return this or keep it?

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  • When you lose an item — a phone, wallet, purse or other item — you hope that someone will be honest and return it to you, right? Do you believe the same of other people's belongings, or do you proclaim, "Finders keepers, losers weepers?"

  • One man decided to test this question by purposefully dropping his wallet on a public street. This "honesty test" was to see how many people, if any, would try to return the wallet to its rightful owner.

  • This test was performed 50 times. Luckily, most of the people he found were honest — some even running to catch up to him and return the wallet in some instances. These acts show that most people choose honesty.

  • At the end of the clip, however, he drops his wallet as a group of four people pass by. One woman picks up the wallet and pockets it! The man even tries to ask if they have it with no luck. Sometimes people don't even take a second chance at honesty.

  • Would you try to return a wallet?

  • What about smaller things?

  • Once, I had just finished a shopping trip and discovered an item that I had not paid for. It was less than $2. I decided that the next time I went to the store, I would "buy" that same item, but leave the product at the store.

  • When I did this, the cashier was completely shocked. It made her day, and I was just glad to not carry a burden of dishonesty.

  • Honesty is still the best policy. If you have previously been dishonest, change it now. Make amends where possible and be 100 percent honest from now on. Kids will follow our lead whether we are honest, or not. Read these tips on how to encourage honesty in children.

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Wendy is a regular contributor for and does media reviews. Website: for victims of sexual abuse. Blog: Twitter: @WendyJessen


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