The Old Man and the Game of Trust

An Old Man Putting Dry Rice on the Hearth 1881 Vincent van GoghLet us play a game, you and I.

I will give you some money – here, have this note. Of course it’s not a joke. You can take that 100$ bill and walk out of here. No one’ll say a thing. Or come after you.

Or you could do something nice. You see young Joe over there? You don’t know him? Of course you don’t. Doesn’t matter, he’s a good lad. Let me tell you what you can do. You can give him a small share of that 100$ you got. And I’ll say what, however much you decide to give him, I’ll give him twice the amount you do, so that he now has a tight little bundle. And now that he has so much money, I’m sure he’d be feeling grateful, and give you back some of that cash. So, on your part it’s not really a gift, but an investment, one that could make you a nice little packet in the end.

How will you know that he won’t take the money and run, you ask? Well, I can’t answer that. It’s up to the goodness of your heart, and your trust in the goodness of your fellow man. As I said, I won’t make your choice for you. You decide how much you want to give, and he decides how much he wants to give back.

You’ll give him 10$, you say? Fine, fine, I’m sure he’ll appreciate it. By and by, you see this little bottle? Why don’t you take a sniff of that? Nothing that’ll harm you, I promise. All natural, all the goodness of the earth in this little bottle – a perfume of my own invention. And while you smell that and think over how much you want to give young Joe here, let me tell you a little story.

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Graduate student and part-time science blogger. I am currently working on my PhD in neuroscience. In my spare time, I like to indulge my insatiable book addiction, browse the crazy alleys of reddit, and window-shop for gadgets.
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