When honesty does pay

From cash to a new job, honesty can bring large rewards

Police Honor Homeless Man's Good Deed

Around the world truthful citizens are proving the old adage 'honesty pays' as they are rewarded for their integrity.

What would you do if you stumbled upon thousands of pounds in a backpack, seemingly discarded by someone with more money than sense?

Most people would think twice before handing the money into the police, and if you were homeless chances are you would consider the find manna from heaven.

However, Glen James (pictured above) – a man sleeping rough in Boston – didn't think twice when he handed a bag containing $42,000 (£26,000) in cash and traveller's cheques into the police.

The owner of the bag was tracked down and reunited with his money but this isn't the end of the story; on hearing this tale of integrity, Ethan Whittington, who lives in Virginia and is an unrelated to the episode, decided to set up a fundraising page for James.

Donations of more than $110,000 (£67,000) have been collected from across the US to give to James, who said he would not have kept "even a penny" of the money as a reward for his honesty.

Whittington, who started the fund on a crowdfunding site, told the Associated Press that the fund had "caught on like wildfire".

"It's brought me a lot of hope. This isn't only about rewarding a great guy. I think it's a statement to everyone in America," he said. "If we come together and work toward one thing...then we can make it happen."

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Honest Janitor Gets To Keep $80,000 He Found In Toilet Stall

This story is echoed on the other side of the world in Australia, where Chamindu Amarshinghe – a corporate cleaner – came across thousands of dollars in a bin in the toilets he was cleaning at a TV company building in 2011.

After first assuming the bin full of money was a "prank', Amarshinghe quickly realised the $50 and $100 notes on the floor were very real.

"I just thoughts: 'That's not my money, so I can't take it away. I don't know what the hell this money is doing here'."

The police were called and with the aid of a plumber, over $100,000 (£54,000) was collected, $1,300 from piping. Subsequently a man was charged with dealing with the proceeds of crime but no one was convicted and the money went unclaimed.

Three years later and the courts have ruled Amarshinghe has been told he is entitled to over $80,000 of the money. He has been given the money he found in the bin but the money in the pipes will go to the state.

Melbourne magistrate Michael Smith said: "There's no reason why such honest shouldn't go unrewarded."

It's not just monetary rewards that are bestowed on individuals who do the right thing as South African car park guard David Kalonga found when he returned a shopping bag with R15,000 (£1,000) in cash in it to its owner.

Kalonga, who earned R100 a day, saw the money sitting in a bag as he cleared trolleys from the car park. He said he did not hesitate in finding the owner of the money and giving it back.

"To be honest is right, to be honest all the time and so [my family] are thanking me for what I have done," he said.

But it was not just his family who were impressed by his actions. As word spread, Kalonga has earned himself a new job as a logistics worker with a risk and asset management company.

Relying on honesty

Hearing individual inspirational stories about honesty is enough to warm anyone's heart and restore your faith in humanity, but there are some people who stake their livelihoods on the premise that most people are honest.

A grocery shop owner in China has been leaving her shop unattended for two years and asking customers to leave money in an honesty box.

The shop, which is situated in Changsha, the capital of the Hunan province, stocks more than 1,000 items with the most expensive retailing at 600 Yuan (£60).

The owner told the South China Morning Post she is in profit two years after the opening of the store and make several thousand Yuan a year.

In the US, Dana Parris who runs a restaurant in North Carolina called Just Cookin' is also operating an honesty policy. She is letting customers pay what they want for their meals and since introducing the policy profits have tripled.

Parris posted a sign by the till that reads: "What are we worth? I am putting my faith where my cash register is...No prices...No totals...you pay what you think your meal is worth!"

Since then some people have paid a bit more and others who cannot afford to eat have visited. Parris said customers sometimes pay for each others food or leave money for the next person.

Clearly honesty is the best policy in more than one situation.

Honesty Gets The Job

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