Of the many new things that I have encountered in Australia two still makes me smile when I walk away, no, make that three.
An honesty tin. On many of the smaller roads especially in rural communities you may find produce next to the road, sans a cash register or attendant, with a little money box where you buy the produce and put the money in the tin, take the change you need, and go. At some of the national parks the same principle applies. You pay your entry fee, fill in the form, and go. You do it because it is the right thing to do.
A while ago we did a fundraiser for the home school co-op that my son attends. The presence of chocolates does not bode well for the hips of the mother of this family and consequently the box of easter chocolate eggs immediately went with my darling husband to his place of work. He left the box at the reception with an honesty envelope and two weeks later collected the envelope. Three packets were left of twenty and two people forgot to pay. (Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.) I am ok with that – it still beats having to eat 17 packets of chocolates on my own! My hips are ever thankful to those who did pay.
Putting fuel in my own car. When we arrived seven years ago that was one of the things that most filled me with dread. I made sure that my husband drove the car the day that a fuel fill was needed. One day however, the inevitable happened – I had to stop for fuel and do it myself! I had visions of forgetting to tighten the petrol cap, not knowing when to pull the nozzle out and flooding everything around me with flammable liquids, creating a spark because I am not anchored/grounded and setting fire to myself and the car with the children in. It is not that difficult at all. And it is quick and snappy.
Self check out points in Coles, Big W, K Mart and Woolworths. It is so convenient when you have just a basket to get through. You simply go to the check out point, scan you products, select how you want to pay, do it, get your stuff and walk away. Easy peasy.
All three of these work on an honesty principle. You get what you want, you pay for it, and you go. Nobody to make sure you do what you must do, you do it because it is the right thing to do. Pretty much like keeping within the speed limits.
Yes, after seven years, the fact that most people do things because it is the right thing to do, even when no one is watching still amazes me. It has always been our motto, because for us that is the definition of integrity – doing right when no one is watching.