Sunday, January 23, 2011

Morality, religion, and the speedo

I found a wedding ring at the bottom of the pool today. When I waved in the direction of a life guard, a middle aged Japanese man came rushing toward me all smiles. He gave me the 90 degree bow and proceeded to grab both my hands and thank me as if I'd lent him my toilet after an Indian buffet. The demonstration would have been over the top without the speedo and swimming cap.

Sarcasm aside, got to say it felt good. In many ways I was as excited to return the ring as he was to receive it.

I'm a pretty careless guy. One time while rushing for the train bound for the airport I dropped my wallet. Some woman picked it up and literally ran to return it to me before I got on the train. Incidences like these are hardly rare in Japan. Foreigners are
typically amazed to see cellphones, cameras and wallets left in taxi's magically returned to them.

I've heard that the difference between Asian morality and Western morality is the difference between society and God. In the east you don't do bad things because society judges you. When you are alone therefore you can do whatever you want. In the west you are never alone. God is watching you always.

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