An experience in Finland during my undergraduate program at the Helsinki School of Economics truly brought new insight to the meaning and practice of honesty. My first and most surprising encounter with just how honest people were at my university was in the hallway student-run kiosk.
Part of the responsibility of the student body was to make sure a designated area in the hallway (the kiosk), where most students hung out during their breaks, was well stocked with snacks. This area had everything from gum (with Xylitol), apples, candy bars and certainly their famous salty liquorice candy called “Salmiaki” (definitely an acquired taste). The prices were on the front of the box or basket that had the snacks. Everyone that took a snack would simply leave the money in an open box next to the snacks (it was open in case you needed change). There never was anyone watching the snacks, everyone just knew that for this to work, everyone had to be honest and pay for their snacks.
I have to admit it was strange just dropping my money into this open box the first time I purchased a snack . At the same time, it really felt good being part of this honesty system and knowing I was doing my part to keep it working.
(Photo Wikimedia Commons)
1 comment January 29th, 2007