Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Always Do the right thing

Always do the right thing

I recently saw a story on the news about a man receiving a reward of $100 for returning property he found in a trash bin searching for returnable bottles. The mans’ name was Charles Moore, a 59 year old man who not too long ago had lost his roofing job in Ohio. Mr. Moore returned back to Michigan to look for work and hadn’t been successful; consequently, he became homeless and was living in a shelter in Michigan.

I was very moved by Mr. Moore’s story not just because he was clearly a Good Samaritan; but because even in a time of crisis in his life he chose to do the right thing. When I later found out what Mr. Moore returned to the owner it evoked even more emotion from me. Mr. Moore returned his findings to a staff member at the homeless shelter that he was staying at in Michigan. The staff member tracked down the owner of the property and the son of the owner came down to the shelter to retrieve his fathers’ property.

The $100 reward was given to Mr. Moore by the son of the owner of this recovered property for returning 31 U.S. savings bonds totaling $21,000. Upon learning this nuance to Mr. Moore’s story I was disappointed. Clearly Mr. Moore’s actions were not ordinary. He isn’t just a Good Samaritan… he is a hero in the fullest sense of the word. I was appalled after learning more about this mans circumstances that his honesty and forthrightness was rewarded with a measly hundred dollar reward. Many years ago I found a wallet in a store I was working at as a sales associate. I looked down saw a wallet in plain view lying on the floor. I looked around and quickly bent down and opened it up. It had a stack of $100 bills in it about an inch thick. Being young, overworked, underpaid and responsible for a family at the time I contemplated a lot longer than I should have about removing the contents and giving the wallet to my store manager. Then I remember what my mother did once many years prior. She had found considerably less money than I did that day on the street of the block where she lived; nevertheless, it was several hundred dollars. She put up a post on one of the telephone poles on the street advertising than she had found property and left her contact information so she could be reached. Later that day someone came to retrieve the money. The person knew exactly how much was lost so the property and its owner were united that day. It turns out that the women who had lost the money that my mother found was this persons’ rent money. She had been on her way to the check cashing place to get a money order. The lady was so grateful that she offered my mother a reward. My mother graciously declined. Being mindful of this selfless act of kindness I quickly ran down stairs to my manager and returned the wallet and all its contents as I had found them. My manager who had just been explained the occurrence in the store by the patron who had lost their wallet was right there when I returned the item. I didn’t get offered a reward that day for my actions. Having been young and not as understanding of the ways of the world as life experiences since then have taught me I was a little bitter for not being offered a reward.

In retrospect I now understand what my reward was…it was staying true to myself and doing the right thing. Doing the right thing not for the reward it might get me but for the feeling it gave me for discerning the difference. I was pleased to learn that Mr. Moore since this story was aired that people all across the country were as disappointed in the reciprocity as I was in light of this mans circumstances and have showered him with rewards and gifts far exceeding the $100 dollars that he was given. He has even been given a exceptionally good job lead which is probably the greatest reward of all to a man of great character and understanding of one of the most important lessons anyone can learn in life…selflessness. Much thanks to people like my dear mother and Mr. Charles Moore for reminding all of us that doing the right thing and expecting nothing in return but the genuine gratification in knowing that you did something that makes this world a better place for all of us. To you Mr. Charles Moore I dedicate this poem I wrote. You are in my regard a true hero.

Homeless Have you ever witnessed the calm of a homeless man/No immediate worries just broken plans/Not just a statistic of society/Perhaps content just to be/No rent, no mortgage, no tuition fees/Enough food to sustain and something dry on the feet/construct sleeping quarters from discarded things on the street/far more resilient than passerbys can see/survive all four seasons albeit uncomfortably/Looked down upon by those who clearly can't see/but for the grace of God there goes you and me/Pitied because to outsiders this is something we can't believe/Homeless are not eye-sores to me/they're a reminder of how tough life can be/Scorned by those who think their lazy and weak/Only God can judge us blessed are the meek.


At 6:13 AM, Anonymous Jo-Jo said...

This was a great post.

I remember that I had gone to the bank and bought a cashiers check for almost $400 and stopped at the store to buy some stuff, and forgot it. (I did not know I forgot it) Until I get a call from my bank. That it was found and returned.

I was so grateful, because that was the money for me to become a citizen. I had saved, saved, saved... Thankfully Mrs. Lewis returned it. It was a lesson for me that good people do exist and for her grandson, who was with her, to always do right. I remember her saying,"Chile, that could have been some-ones rent money". I had flowers delivered to her and I sent her a check.
But how do you put a price on honesty?
She reminded me of my grandmother and we talked for about an hour.
The impression is ever lasting.
Thanks for posting this, gotta find her number and give her a call.

At 7:26 PM, Blogger The Freelancer said...

@ Jo- Jo Good to hear from you... glad you liked the post. I trust all is well... have left a commentary on your blog as well. Take care!


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