While cruising down a dirt road on a sunny Saturday afternoon you notice an old church sitting in a clearing surrounded by trees. You can tell just by looking at it that the church is at least 100 years old and may have even been used as a school house before becoming a church.
Next to the building is a very old swing set and teeter-totter where the playground must have been long ago. Even though the playground is now empty and somewhat overgrown with weeds you can still visualize children running around playing and swinging on the swings. You can almost hear their laughter as you drive by the old school yard and think to yourself “I wonder if I could get permission to metal detect there? There has to be some old coins and relics on that property!”
After some internet research you’re able to come up with the name of the Preacher and his email, so you decide to shoot him an email explaining what you do and ask permission to detect the old playground area next to the church. A few days later you get a reply email from the preacher. He tells you that he has no problem with you doing some metal detecting on the old playground area next to the church.
That gets you excited because all you’ve been able to think about all week is what kind of old coins may be laying just under the surface there. Armed with your new permission you decide to drive out to the old church and see what you can find.
When you get there you realize that there is no one around, anywhere. Man, this place is remote! That doesn’t deter you though, at one time this area would have been a lot more populated and the old church was definitely a gathering place, so who knows what you’re going to find.
After about 40 minutes you start to realize that there are hardly any targets around the playground area. You haven’t even found a modern penny much less an old silver coin! You drove all the way out to the old church house thinking that you would be finding a bunch of old silver coins only to realize that someone has apparently beaten you to the punch.
It’s looking like you’re about to take the skunk when you start thinking about the permission email the preacher sent you. In his reply email the preacher said that he didn’t mind if you did some detecting on the old playground next to the church, but did that mean that was the “only” place he was giving you permission to detect there?
You’ve been at the old church for over and hour and haven’t seen one car drive by. No one is around to see you and tell you otherwise, so what could it hurt if you detect the rest of the property? Is permission… permission? Or should you stick to the playground area only since the preacher had mentioned the playground area specifically?
So, What would you do? Would you detect the playground area only and accept that you drove out there for nothing, or would you take the permission email as “Permission” to detect the entire church property?
Often the “correct answer” seems obvious, but that might not be what you would actually do in said situation. After reading the above scenario think about what you might do if you found yourself in this situation.
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