COMMENTARY 869.4: The Saga of the Lost Wallet

by Michael Josephson on March 5, 2014

in Commentaries, The Nature of Character

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I suspect it’s an indication of low expectations that I was so delightfully surprised when I found a note on my door Saturday afternoon from a person who said they found my wallet a few hours earlier. Apparently, after pulling out my credit card to get gas, I put my wallet on the top of the car for a moment to answer a phone call. Obviously, I forgot and drove off.

Patrick and Catherine saw the wallet in the middle of the road a few blocks from the gas station. They stopped their car to retrieve it. It was filled with all the things one keeps in a wallet these days, including an emergency $100 bill and other cash. There was no home phone number, but they got an address from my driver’s license, and as true good Samaritans, they decided to drive to my home to return it. When I didn’t answer the door, they left a note with their phone number.

When I went to get the wallet I was so relieved and grateful I intended to give them the $100 bill emergency as an expression of gratitude, but Patrick refused. He said he was just glad he could be of help.

Patrick and Catherine were instinctively honest, but they believed in the Golden Rule as well. There were business cards in the wallet with my office phone number. They could have waited until Monday to call, but they didn’t. They drove over to my house because they realized the trauma the loss of a wallet and all its contents could cause. I’m sure there are other people who would’ve done what they did, but not nearly enough.

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Joan Eberts February 21, 2013 at 8:06 am

It is just so refreshing to know there are such wonderful people still out there! Thanks you guys!!

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Ruth February 22, 2013 at 4:58 am

I had a similar experience. I was eating at one of my favorite restaurants and didn’t realise that left my wallet on the table. The young man who waited on us found it for me and put it aside for me, and on his way home delivered it to my house. I was so delighted, that I too tried to reward him. He refused. I was not as worried about the money, as the photos of my children and the irreplaceable items in the wallet. He really made my day!
I take every opportunity to tip him very well when we eat there and he is our server.

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Bob February 22, 2013 at 7:53 am

Cool stories! I try to live by the Golden Rule. It’s a good one!!

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Putt February 22, 2013 at 8:05 am

Okay, so you snagged me with the “un-celebration” teaser but I found myself in the “honesty” section. Nice story but I’m a cynic some days. Today’s one of them. Returning a wallet seems a no-brainer to me but I guess some are more easily impressed. My problem, your name and photo are pretty well known — how better than to return the wallet of “Mr. Character Counts”? :-)

But what tweaked my sensibilities is answering a phone while gassing the auto! Hello! Endanger others so you don’t miss a phone call? Consideration counts too.

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JVF March 5, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Putt – how does answering a phone in anyway endanger others? Do you know every detail of the story? I will often start the gas handle, place into he locked position and sit back down in my car – especially if it’s cold and windy. I see nothing wrong with answering the phone while waiting on the gas to pump. If you are referring to those who insist cars spontaneously explode at gas pumps from using a phone at the gas pump 1. Please my friend, check “Snopes” / “Urban Legends” and pray tell – arm yourself with some valid knowledge…. My goodness, cars would be blowing up to smithereens all over the world, then the entire gas station w/ 10 pumps!! Wow – explosions everywhere! How is this not in the news!! Oh, it never happened. There is nothing wrong with being a cynic – however, it is simply pathetic to be an uninformed cynic who touts his misleading information on the public highway.

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JVF March 5, 2013 at 12:44 pm

And by the way – you missed the WHOLE POINT of the story… UGH!

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Donna February 23, 2013 at 4:50 am

If a wallet doesn’t impress…how about this –
I cashed my paycheck and had $1800 in an envelope in my purse. I must have stuck my hand in my purse to get a coupon, my pnone or whatever – that I don’t remember. I got home and realized my cash was gone. The last place I’d been was the grocery store. I went back with the idea that it was certainly gone for good. But when I asked at the desk if anyone had turned in an envelope with lots of money in it, they asked how much instead of saying “no”. Someone had found the envelope and turned it in. They had not left their name even -just returned all my money. I put a public thank you in our local paper- hopefully they saw it!

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Sailormom March 7, 2014 at 10:37 am

I think it was a good read and reminder that there are still good honest people out there. My experience has been when a cashier say at McDonalds returns too much money, I give it back to them, reason…. to make them aware of their mistake, to keep them from getting written up and saving their job. I have a teenage child and I would hope that the kindness would be given to my child one day too.

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PRB March 7, 2014 at 2:01 pm

I, for one, think honesty is a big deal! My adult kids are honest, kind and trustworthy and I’m sure they would do the exact same thing…maybe because when my husband and I have been faced with this kind of problem, we did the right thing. When my purse was lost (stolen) I had to suffer thru not getting my items back and had to close accounts and get new driver’s lic and etc, nt to mention the loss of pictures and etc.

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Caleb June 16, 2014 at 11:01 am

I have lost my wallet before and it is not a good feeling. The first thing I did was cancel all of my cards and notify the bank. That way that could pause all of my accounts so no transactions could occur.

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