If you found a $20 bill in a parking lot and no one else was around, would you claim it?
I did. The wind blew one right to my feet. No one was around so it became mine
I’d pocket it. I work hard for $20.
And then I would put it in the next donation jar I encountered.
I did that with a $1 I found on the street, that I couldn’t bring myself to spend for weeks. My daughter suggested the donation jar thing, and I loved it, so I did that.
And yes, I would give away a $20 bill too. I’ve given away things far more valuable than that, and I’ve managed to locate the person who dropped $280 on a supermarket aisle floor and got it back to him. It’s a good feeling.
I admire you for that.
Thanks. It’s more or less the way I was brought up, in general. But also I had a few experiences early in my adult life where strangers treated me with exceptional kindness - one entirely anonymously, one almost so - that made me realize... I don’t know exactly; that it’s a good thing to go out of your way to be kind? That it makes the world a better place? It’s a good feeling, anyway.
I don’t have any problem with anyone just keeping the $20 though, if there’s no way to find who dropped it. That’s OK too.
I’ve seen your comments posted over the years and you’ve become one of my favorites. Just took a peek at your profile. You have so many followers! Interestingly you and I both started on this app Sept 2012.
Thank you, that’s really kind.
And boy, do I have a story for you... It’ll have to wait until I’m home from the dentist, though.
Looking forward :)
(This isn’t about finding a $20 bill. Just finding... kindness.) So... I was killing time in a supermarket before my dental appointment, and I needed to use the bathroom. (This is only a little bit gross...) My iPhone was in my hand when I walked in, and I set it on top of the toilet paper dispenser, reminding myself not to forget it when I left.. When I turned around to flush, I noticed detailed instructions for flushing, and I leaned over to read them, just for fun. Then I turned around and walked out of the stall, washed my hands, left the store, and started walking across a big parking lot to the dentist’s office.
I got halfway there when I realized I didn’t have my phone. Of course I knew where I had left it, but I didn’t know if it would still be there. I rushed back, went into the bathroom, and... there was someone in the stall I had used. I thought it would be weird to talk to a stranger who was trying to use the toilet, so I waited. And waited. And waited...
And all along I was thinking... there may have been another person in there before this one, who might have walked off with my phone... But I waited. Finally she came out - holding my phone in her hand.
She realized I was the owner, probably by my look of distress, got a big smile on her face, and handed it to me. I was so relieved (heck, everything I know is on that thing) I could barely stop thanking her. While she was washing her hands, I told her how coincidental it was that I’d just had this conversation online about... well, starting with the $20 bill dilemma and segueing into kind acts.
I was happy, she was happy to have made me happy.
(She said she had been about to take the phone to Customer Service, and was glad she had found it instead of the kind of person who wouldn’t have done that.)
Icing in the kindness cake: On the bus on the way to the dentist I saw our bus driver go out of her way to be kind to a passenger who had fallen down, after she got off the bus. There were other people helping her, so she didn’t have to. (Our bus drivers are terrific in general.) And on the bus on the way back, I saw a young man (whom I learned later was staying in the homeless Mission and had been in jail in the past) go out of his way to do good things for other people *three times.*
It was a really good day.
In spite of having to go the the dentist.
(Oh, all those followers? Some of them came about because I’ve been a beta tester for the app, and our first job was testing the version (2.0, 3/28/13) that allowed user-made polls. Tony had asked the group of us to post some polls to get the thing going, and I think my name got out there - along with the other beta testers - as people to follow, which was also a new thing with that release. And for a good while I was following virtually anyone I bumped into, and a lot of them followed me back.
But a *lot* of them are long gone now - probably the majority. On the rare occasions when I make a poll, I don’t get many votes (which is OK with me).
I have no idea why I wasn’t following you. I am now.
(sorry for all the notifications, and for bending your ear for so long)
Thanks for your reply, Susan. I enjoyed your retelling of what happened.
Occasionally someone will post a poll asking if people are inherently good or bad. I’m sure you’ve seen them. Good usually wins over bad about 60/40. That seems to match my experience too. There is some internal sense of decency and goodness everyone has and that seems to dominate unless things go wrong to disturb that natural human aspect. Just my opinion though. Certainly there is room for disagreement and debate. For 15 years I’d worked at a mobile phone store and surprisingly frequently someone would bring a lost phone to the store for us to locate and contact the owner. That person was usually empathetic and realized the fact that someone’s important digital stuff is inside, the device is expensive, and it’s just a good thing to do to return it. Maybe that would make an interesting poll question, Susan. If you found a mobile phone somewhere, what would you do? Go ahead and post it if you’d like.