Ping Pong Balls and Encouraging Honesty

This is yet another one of my articles not based on research, but rather on what I believe to be simple logic.

Our dorm has ping pong balls to rent. Of course, the balls are made of cheap plastic, and are prone (and expected) to break at any moment. So when the ping pong ball I was playing with cracked, I took it upstairs to get a new one for rent. I suspected maybe a fifty sent fee or something.

Five dollars.

That’s ten times more than it costs to buy a ping pong ball from the local slot machine.

I was irritated, but the person at the desk told me that I could replace it. I grudgingly understood that it wasn’t her fault and asked to check out yet another one.

I walked downstairs with the ball and noticed there was a crack in it as well. Apparently, someone had returned it without telling the DA that it was… well… damaged. I didn’t play with the ball and returned it. Without saying a word.

Then it hit me.

I was returning a damaged ping pong ball. Why? Because someone else returned a damaged ping pong ball. Why? Because that person didn’t want to be charged! We all had the same motive for returning the damaged ping pong ball; it was so we wouldn’t be charged five dollars!!

How stupid, I thought to myself. How stupid that we would all do this. Soon enough, no one would rent ping pong balls for fear that they would either break or already be broken. So what would everyone do? Purchase their own balls! Individually, this makes economic sense, because no one would have to pay for a broken one. However, as a community, we each suffer a 50 cent penalty when we want to play ping pong, as opposed to having the convenience of being able to check out the balls. If we coordinated our efforts as a community, we would have free balls for rent, but instead we’re losing 50 cents to play ping pong.

My point is that charging five dollars is not encouraging honesty. Being penalized for proper use of equipment is unfair to people, especially to those who borrowed malfunctioning equipment, returned said equipment, and had to bear the blame of breaking said equipment. It is true that there should be some kind of penalty, but five dollars? Who’s gonna be honest then?

Needless to say, I replaced the ball myself.

I would have done the same thing you did.
I think I agree with what your are saying and just have everybody chip in a buck or so and get a bucket of balls that everybody could use.

$5 dollars of a replacement is kind of ummm expensive. I agree that everyone should pay a little so you can get some for yourself.

If I noticed the crack in the first ball that you got out I would’ve gave it back. I wouldn’t play ping-pong instead I would go to the store and buy a whole bunch of ping pong balls for myself to share. Five dollars is just way too expensive for just one ball!

Funny story, and how true!
It’s not even about the money, it’s about honesty and teamwork, as a species. Jeez, is it so hard to work together, i mean if it’s better for everyone why not do it… :meh:

That’s my two cents…

Karmically it is our duty to go along with these things but on a Planetary scale enough people are awake to bring about reforms in this area so that humans now treat one another as human and laws are no longer really, laws…
nor rules, no longer really rules.

The truth is this, we all will be responsible for ourselves if you let us. We all want harmony. We all have harmony. The world is just. It is only when one meddles with human agency and attempts to play conscience police by forming odd rules and traditions that quirky things happen like this.

Consider your dorm. If you were 20 people living in a large house or community, and ping pong balls were damaged, it would be okay, and you would work together and get them replaced, no biggie.

I had an issue with parking tickets and having a boot put on my car, when in fact I only owed them a few quarters. Karmically I may have owed them more since I never knew I had to have a permit to park in this giant lot and did it for a year without ever being penalized.

at any rate it is just fine as I have more than enough money to compensate this and a steady stream of it.

Peaceful solutions to the dinosaur system cast outward.