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Monday, August 18, 2014

Bribe Me

If someone were to bribe you to do a favor for them, what's the most effective incentive they could use: A return favor? Your favorite meal? Free babysitting? Money? Flattery? Other? (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 1559).

Money is the crassest bribe one can think of.  It lacks imagination and leaves little "wiggle room" should it be discovered by one's opponents.  It is the bribe that when discovered claims the most head shaking and tongue wagging.  Thus it comes as an immense relief when the one bribing you shows a little class. Criticism is increasingly blunted the further away from facile conversion to the money equivalent is maintained.  It is also a curious fact that feelings of indebtedness need not be proportional to the size of the monetary gift.  Last evening a group of my neighbors stopped by my house to sing me a carol.   I feel much more indebted to them by this sweet gesture than should they have handed me a $20 bill.  If they had done both and I had an opportunity to do them a favor in return, surely I would find greater impetus in the carol's intangible emotional content rather than the $20 bill with its literal value and overt presentation.  I suppose based on the above question, a favorite meal would be best to bribe me--uncomplicated as it is by the need to adjudge the sincerity of flattery.

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