I had a strange thing occur to me. We were doing impromptu speaking, and the questioner posed this: If you had a 24 hour get-out-of-jail-free card and you could do anything you wanted without negative repercussions, what would you do?
Well I answered the question saying, I wouldn’t do anything that would require a pardon really. I might change a certain someone’s teleprompter, steal a certain person’s phone so he couldn’t tweet for 24 hours, maybe crash a party or two and substitute light beer…
The questioner was aghast. “That was the most boring 24 hours I’ve ever heard, and not the least like what I imagined you do.” Um, thanks? Sorry?
- Why would he assume that if I could do something illegal, the only reason I don’t is because I don’t want to break the rules and get arrested or punished? I wouldn’t want to DO anything illegal. It has no interest for me.
- Why would I do something illegal that would only affect a 24 hour period?
What most people think when confronted by a question of that sort is that they would have the freedom to indulge in a behavior that is restricted in their current lives. I don’t have that problem. I go where I want, do what I want, and I don’t have to break any laws or taboos to enjoy this freedom.
On the other hand, one of the other people in the room asked why I wouldn’t go rob someone of $1,000,000. What’s the appeal of $1,000,000? Is it the money itself? Is it the things I could do with the money–like get a fast car and fancy house or go on a fancy vacation? $1,000,000 is a nice round number, but I would be looking for a way to find an asset that would pay me $100,000/year in passive income. With the original owner looking for that money, 24 hours would be way too short a time period to effectively launder the money and pick up an asset. I’m assuming the person I stole from would want me to pay them back. My enjoyment of the money would then be short-lived.
So yes, it was a boring response. Sorry.
Our dreams and aspirations should not be hampered by the law, but neither should they require a person to break those laws to be happy.