If you are like me, every once in a while an email arrives in your inbox from someone who is stuck in London or the Philippines because they were mugged and had their wallet stolen. Well, I didn't get mugged and instead of "stolen" I might say, "inadvertently left in a cab"... but I did lose my wallet in Cebu City during a recent trip from Hilongos to Dumaguete.
Fortunately I had pulled out my money in preparation to dash from the cab to my bus, so I was not completely stranded. When I realized that my wallet was gone (ID, Credit Cards, etc) I figured it was gone for good. Not a huge problem, but definitely inconvenient.
When I got back to my home base, I updated Facebook with this ...
Now, I am sure that when most people read this update you thought one of two things: "Seriously, Bruce, Again?" or you may have had more compassion than my family and thought, "Bummer, I hope it's not too inconvenient." But I highly doubt that anyone thought, "No worries, I'm sure someone will find it and return it to you."
But of course ...
Yep, Mariel, a student in Cebu City, must have used the cab after me, found my wallet, took the time to find me on Facebook and then mailed it to me here in Dumaguete. Muriel certainly did not have to do this. Sure, if she was inclined to theft, she could have used my cards or stolen my identity. But even if she was not, she could have just destroyed them assuming that I would take care of them after the loss thus assuring me that I would not experience any fraud.
But no... she took the time and effort to find me and return my wallet.
Now for those who have known me for a while, you know that I often misplace my stuff and more times than not, it is returned. To be clear, I in no way believe that there is anything that I have done to deserve this life-pattern and understand that it is purely happenstance. At the same time, what I have come to accept is that this may be one way that God every once in a while reminds me not to give up on the kindness and honesty of humanity. Yes, there are crappy things being done by humans against other humans [insert litany of crappy things we human perpetrate upon one another] and it can get a tad bit overwhelming and cause even the most open of hearts to calcify with cynicism.
But then people like Muriel come into our lives and remind us that people really are kind, honest and good.
As as amazing as people think this story is [if 235 FB likes are any indication] I actually believe that most of us would have done the exact same thing. After all, humanity is us and when we give up on the kindness of people, in many ways we give up on ourselves and worse, we gradually allow ourselves to do the very things that we so loathed at the start.
So thank you Muriel -- you reminded so many that goodness, kindness and honesty are alive and well.
And thank you also to my friends, family and strangers, who exhibit the same attributes each and every day whether you know it or not.