Be the world ……!

One of the more common philosophies on life that I have heard is “Treat others the way you would like to be treated.” There are a number of iterations of that, the most well known could well be “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” A more recent variation is “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. They are all basically suggesting that we should set the example of how we would like to see the world.

The other evening, we were out walking Ray when we saw a wallet on the sidewalk. We picked it up and opened it to see if there was any owner identification inside … and there was, together with a significant amount of money. A quick search on Google and we had a likely address about 5 minutes walk away!

The address turned out to be a multiple units building and, upon finding the wallet owner’s name on the occupants listing next to the units call buttons, we buzzed the owner. She confirmed her name and, when requested to meet us in the reception area, she agreed … and we waited.

Not too surprisingly, she seemed rather serious as she approached the glass doors into the reception area where we were. She was a young lady, in her late teens, and I had to wonder what was on her mind as she saw two total strangers and a large dog waiting for her!

She opened the door and, without actually coming through the door opening, she looked at us. I introduced all of us (including Ray) and simply said “We have found something that is yours.”

She gasped a very excited “You have my wallet? It’s silver with a character painted on it.” I asked her whether she knew how much money was inside it. Her reply was perfect, so I handed it over to her. She asked where we had found it and then, after an exuberant “Thank you so much”, she turned around and went back to a waiting elevator. She stepped inside; the doors closed, and we turned around to head back home … when we heard it!

From within the elevator, there were uncontrolled screams of delight. We both smiled at the thought of her probably dancing around in the elevator celebrating the return of her various i.d. cards, public transport passes, credit card, and a lot of money! She had every reason to celebrate, and celebrate she certainly appeared to be doing based on what we heard.

In retrospect, we could have simply kept the money and thrown the wallet away or, if we felt a little more honest, we could have simply taken it to our local Police Division. In both those scenarios, we would not have experienced the sound of ecstatic delight as she celebrated being reunited with her wallet.  I think that I will remember that sound coming from behind those elevator doors for a very long time. I certainly hope so.

We were honest, and went out of our way for a few minutes. The reward for doing so was priceless.

We are not expecting to see her again, so she will never know how much pleasure she gave us. Who knows, perhaps one day she will be in a similar situation and will remember our honesty. She will remember those two elderly people and that big dog who returned her wallet, with all the original contents, to her.  Who knows, perhaps one day she might just do the same for somebody else. Just thinking.

36 thoughts on “Be the world ……!

  1. Money can never bring such a boost to our hearts as the joy we created in others can. It is priceless. I found myself smiling all the way reading the story.
    My daughter once left her handbag in a train station. Only after a few minutes, she noticed. Until we were back, the bag was gone. She was 11 and her first mobile phone was in it together with iPod and some money. She was desperate. We called her phone and someone picked it up. After some confusing hours, she got her bag back with everything in it because of the honesty of the finder. He did not even accept a reward. AWESOME!

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  2. I believe that these are Maya Angelou’s words : “Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” Your rainbow melted her cloud of fear. Well done! Sure hope that she remembers this and passes it on…and holds on to her wallet better too. Thank-you for a lovely Monday morning ray of sunshine!

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    • Absolutely. The reward (her screams of delight) and my personal satisfaction, were well worth the 5 minutes to locate her and 5 minutes to return the wallet to her. That is a pretty amazing reward for taking 10 mins out of ones day! 🙂

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  3. I can’t think of a better ending to this than this young lady ‘paying it forward’ one day.

    Kudos to you and Carol and Ray. Not only for your honesty, but for making sure the lost wallet, and ALL its contents, got into her hands.

    And yes, you will never look at an elevator again without hearing her squeals of delight!! What a fun memory.
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

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  4. Awh! A great heart warming story to start the morning off. I am sure she was thrilled! You and Carol absolutely made her day and she made yours with her screams of delight. A win-win situation and who knows what chain you set into motion.
    A chain of bringing happiness to others, what better chain is there!
    Who knows you may run into her again since she doesn’t live far away and I bet she will have a wonderful smile and cheery Hi for all of you. Including Ray. 🙂

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