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Integrity Check

Updated on July 25, 2012

Random Act of Kindness

I have struggled for many years with the stories told of bad integrity and horrible ethics with what seem to be the simple things in life. The decisions some people make when a different decision is so evident, and right and prudent astonish me. It’s not even the big stories heard on TV or the radio that amaze me and continue to convince me that people need to stop and think about the decisions they make.

Everyone has heard the definition of integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is looking. I think this definition fits perfectly, but are right decisions made most of the time by most people? No one will ever know. I am one that was raised by parents who taught me that people are inherently good and that when challenged to make the right decisions, they will most of the time in the eyes of others.

My integrity was in check just the other day and I wanted to make sure I passed on a “teaching lesson” to the recipient of my good deed. The story goes as follows. I left the house early in the morning when most were still happily checking the inside of their eyelids for holes. I was still tired as well but was happy to get my day started at the office. As I drove down the street, a small dark object caught my attention in my lane of traffic. As I got closer, it looked like a wallet. My wheels straddled the wallet and it passed under my car without incident.

I pulled to the side of the road hastily and got out of the car to retrieve the wallet. No one else was out at that time so I stood at the side of the road to investigate my find. The wallet was brown leather, and was once in great condition before obviously succumbing to a few mauling sessions between the pavement and the bottom of a few Michelin tires. Small rocks were embedded in the leather and it had definitely taken a beating for the time it was laying in the road.

I opened the wallet and immediately saw the driver’s license of a young man, 16 years of age. I thought of my younger years and what I would have felt like if I had known my wallet was missing. I then noticed cash, $81 to be exact. I didn’t remember the last time I had $81 in my pocket but didn’t even think about the possibility of becoming the new owner of the money. I was wondering how upset, and helpless the kid may have felt if he truly knew the wallet was missing at that time.

I looked at the address on the driver’s license and noticed I was just down the street so I pulled my car in front of the house and took out my notepad. I jotted down an anonymous handwritten note which read as follows: “I found your wallet in the middle of the road and it looks like it took a beating. I hope you didn’t worry too much about it. I just wanted to let you know everything is still inside. Signed, a trustworthy person.” At the bottom of the note I added a small life lesson for the young man in that he should pass on a good deed to someone else and keep it going.

I left the wallet and note on the front patio of the home out of the view of passers-by and got back into my car. With a smile on my face I left and drove to work. I felt great the whole day knowing I had made the correct decision. For me it really was the only decision to make. I hope the young man shared the letter with his parents, family, and friends and that it made even a small impact into the way he hopefully will lead his daily life.

Who knows, if we all did one thing for someone else without the need for validation or recognition, would the world be a better place? I have to think yes. So get started! Find a way to make a positive impact in someone’s life today.


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    • Backyard Flare profile image

      Dan Heston 5 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Thank you Mr. Archer. Very nice comment.

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 5 years ago from Missouri

      Very nice story, with a great life lesson. Treat others the way you want to be treated. As you say, if we did this daily, how much better would the world be? Voted up with hope.