As sometimes happens, I came upon a moral dilemma this weekend. I was walking my dogs, Leeroy and Harley, trying to get some exercise for all three of us, and then it happened. Next to the street, there was a green Bagster full of lumber. And I could see a lot of pieces that, to my mind, should be back on my lumber rack, not on the way to the landfill.
I returned a while later with my truck and knocked on the property’s door, meaning to ask if I could salvage some of that lumber. Sadly, no answer. But there I was, my truck parked next to the lumber. No one was home. Someone had thrown it away. If I just took those pieces, I could make toys for disadvantaged children. I would be saving the environment. The universe would be a kinder, gentler place. World peace was not out of the question…
But would I be stealing?
After a bit, I drove away with a truck empty of everything but regret. So, the question for you all is, would it be wrong to grab that lumber and run?
Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal
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