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Cellular Phone - The Barometer for Honesty

Updated on April 29, 2011

Honesty is still the best policy

Honesty is the best policy. Still, it is. No doubt about it. For people who tell the truth, young and old, they are rewarded in many ways, be it tangible things or not. If you don’t hide a secret, you can have admirers because of your brave disposition. The only hindrance are those who don’t like honest people; it will be your potential haters or enemies. In the strata of society, honesty is still the most arguable thing among humans.

One particular gadget that you can test honesty is the cellular phone. It is now considered the barometer for honesty. It measures the capacity of mankind to tell the truth nowadays.

When honesty was tested at my place

With all the hip gadgets available in the posh electronic stores near your place, you can always buy the latest gadget, from cellular phones to electronic accessories, if you want to.

When I took a leave from my work onboard ship, I was able to save a considerable amount of money in the bank. I still have the luxury to buy the type of cellular phone that I want. I chose the phone with camera and wireless internet functions. As if, it’s my new ’pet’ aside from my two cats and a dog.

Unfortunately, it didn’t last long. While using it as I rode a jeepney (public utility vehicle in the Philippines) from our barrio, my kababayan (neighbor from our place) stole it while we were disembarking the vehicle at the nearest city. He ran and didn’t gave his fare to the driver with my cellular phone in his hands. I only enjoyed and used it for less than a month. I tried calling him but he didn’t answer my phone. The most important thing was the SIM card in it because it contains various contacts, from friends, family and agency numbers. I was so angry that I promised that when I meet him again, I will surrender him to the police authorities. He never go back to our place again.

Honesty around the world

We all want trust and be trusted. In 2007, the saying about honesty gave a bright idea to Reader’s Digest editors to conduct an Honesty Test to 32 cities in the world by dropping 30 phones.

There are varied reactions’ from people who found it. Reader’s Digest researchers intentionally dropped it in order to measure the level of honesty in the said famous cities.

  1. A man from Toronto, Canada returned the phone because he “was raised in a spiritual family’, so he gave back what he doesn’t own.
  2. A man in his late 20s in London Square pocketed the phone after a group of Japanese tourists left the area.
  3. In Buenos Aires, Argentina, a 38-year old man gave back the phone to the owner nearby the joggers track.
  4. A finder in Stockholm, Sweden said that doing the right thing is a part of everyday working life.
  5. New Yorkers, nowadays, are suspicious about phones being left on the sidewalk of the streets due to the Twin Tower bombing in September 11, 2001. They never touch it at first for fear that it will explode.
  6. In Times Square in Hongkong’s Causeway Bay, a man in uniform (security guard) immediately pocketed the phone.
  7. In Bucharest, Rumania, a man who kept the phone, immediately ran off with his car, slammed down the accelerator and screeched out of the parking lot.
  8. In the upscale Auckland department store in New Zealand, a smartly dressed woman in her 50s immediately grabbed the ’lost’ phone and exited the store immediately.
  9. In Sao Paulo, Brazil, a woman with three young children in tow handed back the phone she found at the park and said, “I may not be rich, but my children will know the value of honesty.
  10. In Amsterdam, Netherlands, the parents of the 10 year old boy let him keep the phone after he kissed his mother and gave her a big smile.
  11. A homeless 52 year old man in Budapest, Hungary said that it never occurred to him to keep the phone. He said he never lose his honesty amid the things that happened to him.

As psychologist Paul Ekman of University of California, author of Emotions Revealed and an expert on deception, said that crime is not the norm despite the media told us. People still want to trust and be trusted.

Honesty Ranking

  • Most honest city dwellers were from Ljubljana, Slovenia who returned 29 phones out of 30. In second place was Toronto, Canada with 28 and third was Seoul, South Korea with 27. Stockholm, Sweden residents placed fourth with 26. In the fifth place where Mumbai, India; Manila Philippines and New York, United States who tied with 24 phones.
  • In the sixth place were Helsinki, Finland; Budapest Hungary; Warsaw, Poland; Prague, Czech Republic; Auckland, New Zealand and Zagreb Croatia with 23 returned phones.
  • Seventh place went to: Sao Paolo, Brazil; Paris, France; Berlin, Germany and Bangkok, Thailand with 21 phones.
  • Eight place were Milan, Italy; Mexico City, Mexico and Zurich, Switzerland with 20 phones.
  • Ninth place went to Sydney, Australia and London, United Kingdom with 19 phones.
  • Tenth place was Madrid, Spain with 18 phones returned.
  • Eleventh place went to Moscow, Russia with 17 phones.
  • Twelfth place were Singapore City, Singapore; Buenos Aires, Argentina and Taipei, Taiwan with 16 phones.
  • Thirteenth place went to Lisbon (Lisboa), Portugal with 15 phones.
  • In the fourteenth place were Amsterdam, Netherlands and Bucharest, Rumania with 14 phones.
  • In the fifteenth place were Hongkong, China and Kuala Lumpur with 13 phones returned.

Note: These demographics only show partial trends if honesty is concerned in every city that RD researchers visited. People have their own individuality. City dwellers are more practical than in the country side.

Honesty test showed 654 phones being returned out of 960 - that was equivalent to 68 per cent. That’s not bad at all.

RD people didn’t include yet the honesty test in the continent of Africa or in the Caribbean Islands.

Cellular phones are included now in our basic commodities. We cannot live without these gadgets, especially in the cities where communication plays a vital role in our jobs.

Related Topic


Philippines has been dubbed as the text capital of the world. Trailing closely in second is South Korea. Because of this trend, more and more businesses on cellular phones are opening left and right in the market or even at home. With a loading station for phones, you are sure to earn money even you're not working 24/7.

Onbooard ship, cellular phone cards are in demand to seafarers. Whenever the roaming option is available and your cellular phone receives a signal from the satellite, you can immediately call of text your family, friends and acquaintances at home without delay.

Honesty is still the best policy when asking for a load from the seafarer-businessman.

Honesty is the best policy by jspollard1

Another cellphone lost!

I just lost my new cellular phone, recently (April 27, 2011) inside the church. I was invited by my former finance officer for her sister's wedding when the incident happened.

I shyly requested one of the church helpers to announce what happened; but no one reacted on it.

Another 'charge' to experience again. Sighs!!!


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    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @earthbound1974: Thanks for your sympathy. It's their loos, not mine. Although, it saddens me with the way other people act regarding other people's things, like the cellular phones.

    • earthbound1974 profile image


      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      I hate cellphone thieves. They should be ashamed of their deeds!

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Arian Rey: Honesty was forgotten by the person who got my new cellphone again, just last Wednesday (Apr. 27). I tried calling my number but he/she easily stashed the SIM card out from the CP. It's already unattended!

    • Arian Rey profile image

      Arian Rey 

      7 years ago from Pearl of the Orient Seas (PHILIPPINES)

      Thanks for featuring HONESTY.The world needs this very badly.

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      8 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Still, honesty is still the best policy wherever you go. The truth will really set you free from any hang-ups, grudges, etc. Thanks, sailor.

    • thesailor profile image


      8 years ago from Seven Seas

      Giving back lost gadgets, like cellular phones, to its owners is considered a genuine act of honesty. While people of the world are enjoying the convenience of latest technologies, there are still selected few who are ready to give back what they don't own; even they've found it.


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