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What do you do when no one’s watching?

Featured on the Hong Kong Economic Journal (November 1, 2014)

This morning, I was getting my usual latte at a coffee shop when a gentleman walked up to the counter beside me to order his coffee. He put his order down and handed the lady at the cashier a $500 note. She writes his name on a cup and then hands him the change. He places it in his wallet as he does a quick calculation of his change. Just after he places the notes in his wallet, he pulls it back out again and says to the cashier “I think you gave me too much. There’s an extra $20 in here”. The cashier looks slightly startled by her mistake and looks at the receipt again. Sure enough, she had given him an extra $20. He hands it back to her as he turns to me and says with a smile “It was too much money!”

As I walked away sipping on my morning latte, I was so encouraged to see this man’s act of honesty. At tha