…and that’s why it’s important to keep telling the story!
Yesterday, something happened to me that reminded me of a neighbor’s story I had wanted to blog about…but never did. So, here I am telling both our stories.
Driving home yesterday, we found a wallet in the middle of our street. It had a VISA card (unsigned!), card with their checking routing and account number listed, $125 in cash and several other store “customer cards.” Using the man’s driver’s license and a bank teller card, we tracked the guy down through his local bank branch. When we returned the wallet, he was thankful — and said something to the effect of, “Nobody these days would ever return a wallet – so thank you.”
Oh yes they do…and I can “raise you one.”
Our neighbor B. recently lost an envelope full of cash – about $200. He was buying materials at Lowe’s, and set the envelope down while he was collecting his purchases. (He had a valid reason for having cash in an envelope – I forget the details, but that’s not relevant.)
B. called around to each place he stopped along the way to see if anyone had found it. He got a phone call from a man later that day, letting him know the envelope was safe. B. arranged to pick the envelope from the man and his wife. B. was so excited to have found it – thinking there was no way anyone would ever return an envelope full of cash – that he planned on giving the man a reward for his actions. He figured 20%, so was going to give the man $40 as a sign of gratitude.
When B. got to the man’s house, they exchanged pleasantries and laughed about the situation. The man gave him the envelope – and told B. there was a little something in there for him. This of course had B. intrigued – so he checked the envelope. There was $240 in the envelope. The man and his wife not only wanted to return the lost cash – but wanted to “go above and beyond” and pay it forward…literally. So, they added $40 of their own to Bruce’s envelope.
B. was blown away. Here he was going to show his appreciation, and instead was met with generosity and hospitality. When B. tried to return the cash, explaining that he was actually going to give a $40 reward, the man and his wife said “no, we want you to have this. If you get a chance somewhere down the road, pay it forward and return the favor to someone else sometime.”
As I’m writing this story, I realize I could have slipped an extra $25 in the found wallet to be a part of B’s “paying it forward” network. But, there’s always next time…
So next time you hear bad news in the media, or hear someone talking down on people “these days” as having no morals, ethics, or sense of community…tell B’s story and pay it forward…