Paul Sassone: ‘Hidden cash’ craze makes fools of us all

Paul Sassone

I can never remember whether it’s life imitates art, or art imitates life.

I do know that life often imitates the movies.

We’re all familiar with a type of movie scene, in which a rich guy makes a poor guy humiliate himself in order to receive a handout.

I was reminded of this while reading about the hidden cash craze that is sweeping the country and, it seems, the world.

It started, as crazes always seem to, in California. Envelopes with varying amounts of cash were hidden by a mystery person. There were clues on social media, along with a wish that finders give some or all of the money to others.

The mystery man turned out to be a real estate investor who, he said, wanted to give back in a fun way.

From what I’ve read, there hasn’t been a lot of giving back. People generally seem to keep the money or give some to a friend or relative.

Though there was a report that someone gave part of his find to a food pantry.

If wealthy people wish to amuse themselves by making people run around and grub for money — one envelope was hidden at the bottom of a garbage can — I guess that’s their privilege. And their fun.

But about giving back. It seems to me that what is important about giving back is who you give back to.

There is no guarantee that people who find this money will be generous and give back, or even that they may need the money themselves. I mean, Donald Trump could go rummaging in garbage cans in hopes of increasing his net worth by another $40.

If these hidden cash “donors” really want to give back, why not just give back where it is really needed?

How about donating to cancer research, to food pantries, to shelters for the homeless and abused, to better mental health treatment, or even to a down-and-out person who asks for eating money?

There are thousands of good places, and millions or people, in need.

Pick one, or three, or eleven and give back by giving to them.

The social media-ites who enjoy running around on these scavenger hunts will soon find some other way to amuse themselves, as will the wealthy people who fund these cash hunts.

But, alas, that isn’t going to happen.

I read that cash hunts are on not only happening in California, but also, among other places, New York, Canada, Las Vegas, London,

Houston.

Even in Chicago now.

Check your garbage can.

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