Oh, Yeah, It’s All Totally Cursed 

What if everyone stopped and thought “What if everyone did this?”? That'd be good!

In 2005, a 21-year-old Canadian woman named Nicole stole some small artifacts from Pompeii. Since then, she apparently suffered nothing but bad luck, including two bouts with breast cancer, as well as various financial woes. As a result, she has returned the artifacts, along with a letter of apology.

“I wanted to have a piece of history that couldn’t be bought,” wrote the woman, who said she was “young and dumb” at the time.…”We can’t ever seem to get ahead in life,” she wrote, blaming the bad luck on the tiles.

It was bad to have stolen these items, and it’s good to have returned them. But my favorite part of the story is this tremendous bit of trolling from the caretakers of Pompeii:

Over the years, around a hundred visitors have returned small artifacts like mosaic tiles and pieces of plaster that they stole during a visit to Pompeii, according to a spokeswoman for the park.

The items were sent back along with letters from the visitors “claiming to have derived only bad luck” from taking away the artifacts, the spokeswoman told CNN.

A selection of letters and returned artifacts has been put on display at the Pompeii Antiquarium, she added, noting that, while the value of the artifacts was not significant, the letters were interesting from an anthropological perspective.

The idea of these folks just casually noting how cursed everything clearly is, and what a bad idea theft is, really tickles me.

Also, this is as good a post as any to promote one of my own guiding principles for life. It’s a variation on the Golden Rule, focused more on actions. Namely, before taking an action, it’s good to stop and think “What if everyone did this?”. If this thief had considered it, she’d have realized the site would rapidly cease to exist. She might have avoided a decade and a half of misfortune. If more people stopped and thought “What if everyone did this?”, the world would be a much better place.