Monday, November 28, 2011


I was just wondering if a reward is still necessary on "Wanted" posters. I mean, are we more likely to call the police if we spot a baddie on the lam and money is offered? I don't think so. Not any more anyway. Back in the day, I'm sure a reward was a huge – even necessary – incentive to do one's civic duty. But rewards aren't special now, they're commonplace. I don't have an inordinate amount of faith in humanity's capacity to do the right thing simply because it's right, but I bet most people would turn in a kidnapper simply for the attention and kudos it would garner them. And, hey, people do the right thing for the wrong reason all the time.

Still, if I did spot a fugitive rapist, pedophile or murderer, no one would have to pay me or promise me 30 seconds on the evening news to turn him or her in. I'd do it for free.


  1. I think a reward is mainly for those who might be afraid/unsure or uninterested in getting involved in turning in someone they might know or know and fear! Money makes people talk and rather quickly too!

    If you saw someone that kind of looked like someone on a poster, you might second guess yourself and not bother to make a call...But if someone offered you 10,000 dollars if you are right, it makes it easier to make that call and just report what you think you saw! What have you got to lose? Nothing! You do have something to gain though! Whether or not you accept the reward that's also your choice.

    I walked into a restaurant and saw a newpaper stand with Virginia's top ten wanted sex offenders on the cover...One of them was a guy that put a roof on my house the month prior to the paper coming out! (Tis true!) I happened to have his cell number and his address. I turned him in! I also turned down the reward. I felt it was my duty! (Had I known my roof was going to start leaking soon after, I would have taken the reward!) Tis also true!

  2. Are we more likely to call the police if money is involve. YES! Are you kidding? Especially in today's economy. Money talks, and money makes people talk. It's true. There are times I honestly wouldn't make the call and get involved unless there was a chance I'd get a reward. Why go through the hassle of maybe having to testify at a trial or maybe having the person or people he knows retaliate against me for nothing? If I'm putting myself on the line or I'm giving up my time, I want compensation. Plain and simple. I think if people were honest, they'd agree with me.

  3. @Nita: A crooked roofer who was also a sex offender? You should'a taken the money! 'Tis true. LOL! Seriously, though – I think it's awesome you turned down the cash on principle. Not many people would do that. Just ask Stephanie. ;-)

    And speaking of...

    @Stephanie: I liked your line, "Money talks, and money makes people talk." Very cool. And true. I guess I still feel like most people would turn in a miscreant even if no reward was offered. Everyone's got a cell phone, and I think most people would whip it out and make the call in the heat of the moment... And then maybe think about the ramifications of their actions after the fact – i.e. trial, testimony, retribution, etc.

  4. I can't believe I'm disagreeing with you. LOL! :)

    I think we still need rewards as incentive for people to do the right thing. Nobody wants to get involved in things anymore. They want to wait and see if somebody else turns in the crook. Unless there is money involved. Mention money and see how many calls you get about a bad guy.

    I think @Nita and @Stephanie are right. I'm not saying that not calling because you aren't offer money is right or that calling just because money is offered is right. It's just the way the world is.

    1. (sputters and shakes fist) I can't believe you disagreed with me! LOL!

      Actually, I think we're all in agreement. I was probably feeling a little self-righteous when I wrote this post. I guess it's just discouraging that people more often than not do the right thing for the wrong reason. It'd be nice if we lived in a world where good things were done by good people simply because it was the right thing to do. But I know most people don't. They're afraid or apathetic.

      And the money-incentive backfires sometimes when a reward's offered and every kook or Greedy Gus ties up the police's phone lines with false tips, hoping for a paycheck.

      Am I feeling self-righteous again, or just cynical. ;-p

  5. ...we grow up with rewarding systems of some kind.
    you do your homework, you get *an amount of money* or a bar of chocolate, whatever. It is ONE of the many ways we learn what is right and wrong in the society we love in.
    Whenever the world changes, our system of right and wrong gets out of balance, sometimes just a tiny bit, sometimes totally out of balance. The world changes almost everyday ;)
    So we have to learn day by day again what is right and what is wrong.
    Not intellectually maybe.
    But there is a BIG difference between knowing - thinking - this is right and doing it. Getting into action.
    I agree with @Shay.
    Rewards can help. As we need to be re-assured and need to re-learn that it is not enough to talk about right and wrong, but to act accordingly.

    it is difficult enough that there is so MUCH right and wrong and lots of people define it differently and LIVE it differently.
    Say one thing, do another. And they do not even feel that this is strange. No wonder we get confused.

    1. And no wonder there's a new war popping up someplace almost daily. Or an old one continuing.

      I imagine our reward-based system of survival was instilled in us almost from the beginning of human's time on Earth. And I guess it's worked. I mean, we're still here! But sometimes it's a shame things work that way.

      Someone once told me to do something good everyday for someone, and not let them you did it. It doesn't have to be anything big. Just...something. Interesting exercise. I'm not very good at it.

  6. yes that is a great thing:

    "Someone once told me to do something good everyday for someone, and not let them you did it."

    don't worry, I am not good at this either.
    Which tells us something. about human nature.
    Getting money is an equivalent for telling someone, isn't it?

    1. I try to do something good for somebody every day and not tell anybody, but I fail too. Either I don't do the good thing, or I'm so excited about what I did that I want to let someone know about it. If I tell somebody, I'm being rewarded for doing good instead of just doing it because it's the right thing to do.

    2. I suppose if, say, you returned someone's lost wallet to the police and got a reward, but the person who posted the reward didn't know it was you who returned the wallet, then you'd be doing something nice "anonymously". But, yes, the money is sort of the equivalent of recognition, just not direct recognition. But would an otherwise decent, honest person return the wallet had there been no reward offered? I would say yes, if it wasn't too much time or trouble for them to do so.

      Phew! Did that make sense?

    3. @Shay: Yeah, but like everything in life, there are degrees. Doing something nice for someone and letting them know ain't all bad. It is seeking out recognition for a good deed, but it's also usually harmless. I may also make the person you did the favor for feel good that you cared enough about them to help out when they hadn't asked you to. I guess it's all a balancing act.

      What I do manage to do nearly every day isn't necessarily good deed, per se, or...rather, it is a good deed, but it doesn't usually go unnoticed. I try to be nice and smile at everyone I see, every day. Unless it's raining and we're all in a hurry. Or someone's creepy. Or otherwise occupied (on the phone, texting, muttering to themselves...)

      That usually makes me feel good, and I think it benefits the other person too.

    4. Smiling can change a person's day a lot! If I'm having a bad day and some stranger smiles at me, I feel better. Sometimes it makes my day better or makes me look at things in a better way.

    5. And sometimes if I'm having a bad day myself, smiling at a stranger makes me feel better too. I suddenly feel very Up With People. lol!