Here comes the question: If someone dropped an iPhone 5s…

A friend called me up today asking me how to unlock an iPhone. Turns out “a friend of his” found an unclaimed iPhone 5 somewhere.  He waited for an entire morning for the owner to call, but apparently the owner just disabled the SIM and never even tried calling. Now “his friend” is left with an iPhone that no one wants. Instead of reselling it, he wants to unlock it so that he could use it himself.

I told him to just take it to any second hand phone store. Sure some expert would be willing to keep an eye shut and crack that bad boy for money. I’m certain it could be done very easily if he would just Google. My friend was still skeptical and unsure about what to do, and I said, “Man, it beats me. It’s not something I’d do, you know.”

Upon hearing it, he replied, “I know! My brother told me, ‘Don’t bother asking Nicky. She’d just take it to the police.'”

His brother is one of the great mentors I am fortunately enough to have in life, an older man who came from absolutely nothing  with zero education but rose to the top of of his line of work with talents and diligence. When I heard it, I was very glad to have someone who knows me this well.

I was once in a dinner party with my mentor. He was beyond drunk by 3am after rounds of drinking. Like always, I just sat there  and observe in a situation like that. He asked me to carry a handsome sum of cash for him cuz he might lost it, and he told everyone in attendance, “There is no one else in this world I trust more than her.”

The next day when he finally was sobber, he told me to hold on to the money because he didn’t need it at the moment. I felt super uneasy because it wasn’t mine, so I returned it to him like two day later when I saw him again.

I don’t like rules forced upon me by others because I don’t like being told what to do, but I’ve set many rules and principles for myself to live by. I think there are certain lines that we can’t cross in life. If I ever break my own rules, I’d hate myself until I straighten up my acts again.

Among the many principles I laid out, the main one being,

Undo to others what you want others to undo to you.

I know its an Christian saying, but there is an equivalence in Chinese. In the iPhone situation, I’d definitely return it to the owner or turn it in to the police because I wouldn’t want someone to resell or take my iPhone as his in a reversed situation. Simple as that.

Another important question to ask myself is:

Whether this is something I’d mind my students do.

I need consistency. Cognitive dissonance drives me crazy. I don’t know how some people are fine being hypocrites who say one thing and do another. I won’t be the kind of teachers who tells a student not to smoke but takes long drags in the back of the building. If a moral question passes this test, I’d feel completely comfortable doing it.

I don’t consider myself a very charitable person. I don’t volunteer to visit elderly homes or save stray dogs, but I’m proud of my integrity. Every time when someone tries to preach religious ideals to me, I always politely decline because I know I may even have more integrity than the person tell me all these self-righteous gibberish.


About Nicky

Nicky English is a journalist, an educator, a podcaster, a couch potato, a dreamer, and a child at heart. Learning is her passion, so is the English language, which she believes is the tool to unlock the door of knowledge. Born in Hong Kong, she received intensive writing training at The University of Iowa, where she double-majored in journalism and political science. Apart from the Hawkeye State, she’s lived in Chicago and Philadelphia. When she was a guest student at Georgetown University, she fell in love with Washington, D.C. She also has a Master of Arts in Communication. A little side note—she cannot imagine a world without her Mac and iDevices. Like many crazy ones, she hopes to change the world one day at a time.
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