Today, I thought I’d take a little break from the normal zigs and zags of managing your money, and use a few moments to tell you about an event that happened that made me quite happy and appreciative of the good in people this weekend. It all started when I lost my wallet…
Alright, let’s back up a little bit. I was out shopping for food for the next week, as I do about once a week, and was getting ready to check out with the food products that I had gathered. After I took out my wallet and rustled through it for coupons, I found a coupon for buy two, get $1.00 off on one of the items I was buying. Given my fondness for said item (one of those drinkable, pro-good-bacterial yogurt multi-packs, in case you were wondering) and the fact that I only had one currently in my cart, I made my way back to the dairy aisle to grab another.
As I was pushing the cart, I held my wallet, the coupon, and my store membership card in one hand, using my other hand as the main director for the cart. By the time I had gone across half the store to get back to the dairy section, I was getting a bit frustrated by trying to push and hold everything at the same time, so I slipped the wallet, card, and coupon into my coat pocket, grabbed another container of yogurt, popped it in my cart, and went on my merry way.
(You can probably see where this is going, but just in case…) I got back to the check out area, pulled out my card and coupon (but not my wallet) and started to check out at one of the self-service checkout kiosks. (Which are both a blessing and a curse, but that’s a topic for another day.) When I was about halfway through checking out, I heard a woman paging me to come to the service desk. I looked over, and she was making the announcement about five feet away from me.
As soon as she stopped speaking, I raised my hand (what else do you do when someone is calling your name?) and told her that I was the Roger she was looking for. She let me know that someone had found my wallet, and turned it in. I was shocked, as up to this point, I hadn’t even realized it was gone.
She told me to go see the security officer who was walking towards me, and who checked that I was in fact the owner of the wallet. I thanked him, thanked the fellow who turned it in, and generally tried to show my appreciation for the people who helped me out.
The Moral of the Story
So, why am I sharing this story with everyone on a Sunday, rather than spending my time studying for my big Biochemistry test on Wednesday? Well, partially because there’s only so much studying a man can do before his brain feels like it’s going to melt (and after trying to start the cramming yesterday, I feel pretty near that point myself).
But more to the point, there is a tendency for us as individuals and as a society to assume the worst about each other. There’s any number of reasons for this, and you could blame it on everything from our increasing anti-social society (or perhaps more accurately, increasingly social via technology society) to a media that has discovered that pain and suffering is a good way to keep listeners and viewers tuned in and their own ratings (and advertising rates) high.
If you look closer and give people a chance, though, most of them are genuinely kind and would rather help their fellow man than cause them pain (or even allow them to go without help). Don’t get me wrong, there are bad people out there, some of whom do downright evil things. There are also others whom get caught up in a bad moment and do things they later regret; there is a wide spectrum of reasons why people end up doing bad, even downright evil things to each other.
When you get right down to it, though, the good in the world seems to outweigh the bad. For every person who would have simply walked off with my wallet (or at least pocketed some of my cash or maybe one of my credit cards), I think there were at least ten who did what the gentleman who found my wallet did, turn it into the proper authorities, try to help find the owner, and even wait around to ensure that it wound up in the hands of the proper person. I didn’t even learn his name, and wouldn’t know him from Adam, but he took the time and effort to help me out when I needed some assistance. It’s somewhat heartening, particularly when the news seems to only remember the negatives and evil actions of people, to recall that there is good in the world, and as time goes on, the good will win out. (Provided we do what we can to help it along, of course.)
Have a nice Sunday, and I hope that everyone who finds themselves in trouble has someone to come to their aid.