Restored Faith In Humanity




We are living through very economically tenuous times.  The stress of trying to make every dollar stretch from day to day has all but left us at our breaking point.  No matter the address, no matter the profession, I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t been affected in one way or another by our country’s unstable economy. 

We all want to persevere, be financially solvent, and be able to provide good lives for our family - living decently is a basic need.  It makes it more of a challenge, though, when the job asks you to take a pay cut or quit, and when the adage about there being too much month at the end of the money becomes a reality.  That being said, hard financial times can either bring out the very worse in a person, or it can generate a sense of compassion.

This past Christmas a friend and I had been shopping in a local “big box” store, getting last minute items for the holidays.  It was two days before Christmas so the store was incredibly crowded with like-minded, last minute shoppers. 

Children ran through the spacious aisles like they were at an outdoor Gymboree.  Unfortunately, their behavior didn’t get as much as a threatening look from their mothers.  It was a test of my own patience not to stick my foot out and help a few of them to the floor.  To put it mildly, the store atmosphere was just short of chaotic.

We managed to make it through the store and back home unscathed.  I began to empty my bundles when, out of habit, I reached down to my wrist to twist around a gold bracelet I wore, and my wrist was bare.  I instantly became so panic-stricken that I could not force myself to look at my wrist.  I just screamed out loud, “I lost my bracelet”.

My friend remained calm, even though I was now yelling in every language I knew…and making up a few more as my blood pressure rose.

“Listen”, He said…far too calmly for my taste, “I’ll go out to the car and check to see if it might have fallen off in the car”.

“Okay”, I said hastily, “Why are you still standing there?”

“Geez, give me time to finish my sentence and walk out”, he answered flippantly.

Men move far too slow for the average female.  In the time it took for him to think about taking a step toward the car my mind had already done a mental survey of every step I had taken in the store.  I already knew that my bracelet was not in the car.  My womanly radar detector told me very definitely where it was.  It was in the “big box” store.

With sweaty palms and mascara burning my eyes, I blinked back enough tears to be able to see the telephone dial pad, and I called the store.  Mind you, I’ve never called the store and got an actual human being, but this night God was smiling down on me.  A very patient woman answered the phone.

I’m sure to her ears the first few seconds of my conversation must have sounded like I was a Banshee in heat because the only recognizable word I could get out between screams and cry’s was, bracelet…she heard the word!

“Ah, yes, you lost a bracelet.  It’s beautiful.”  She said, half question and half statement, in her fractured English, “But, you must describe it to me first”.

“No problem”.  I told her.

I asked, “Can you hold on for just a second…thanks.”

I held the phone with one sweaty, shaking hand and tossed my keys with the other.  “Go get my bracelet!” 

“It’s there. 

“It’s there!”

After describing it she told me about the employee who’d turned it in.  She went on to tell me how he was struggling to take care of his family, and what a nice man he was.  He is certainly honest, and definitely my hero.

The woman on the phone also told me the employee said he knew it was a very expensive piece of jewelry and that the woman who lost it would be very upset.  Boy was he ever right.

I have to admit that with all that’s wrong with humanity and America this man, who happened to be from Mexico, was kind enough to turn in my bracelet.  He restored my faith in humanity.  I was sure the days of honesty and integrity went out with the last episode of Ozzie and Harriet, but, there are still good people in the world. They’re not as rare as a two-headed cow either. 

It was Christmas.  That man could have sold my bracelet and given his family a very nice Christmas, yet he chose to do the right thing and turn it in.  What an example he is to his children.  They should be very proud of him.

The man, as it turned out, was incredibly humble about what he’d done, so I left a very nice note along with a reward, for restoring my faith in humanity.  He thinks he just turned in a bracelet, but what he gave me was so much more.




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