Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers?
Readers' Digest conducted a global cell phone honesty test a few years ago, dropping 30 cell phones in 32 cities around the world to see how many would be returned. Overall, 68% of the cell phones were returned which indicates there are more honest than dishonest people in the world. The city of Toronto, Ontario came second with 28 out of 30 phones returned, with Bucharest, Romania and Amsterdam, Holland coming in last with 16 out of 30 phones returned.
As children we sometimes squabbled over possessions and would chant, "Finder's keepers, losers weepers," if we found something that belonged to another person. We counted it a lucky day if we found a penny, nickel or quarter on the street. Over the years we have found cell phones, cameras and wallets and have tried our best to return them. I have a digital camera found on a trail last August but have had no success it reuniting it with its owner. I know from the pictures that it belongs to someone from Europe who was visiting Canada.
A few years ago I was given $20 in excess change when I purchased bus tickets for our daughters. Once home, I realized the error but it was not an easy decision to return the money. It wasn't my mistake! But I did drive back across town to show the clerk the bill. She was stunned and in tears when I gave her the money as she would have had to account for the error at the end of the day.
Are most people really honest? The news is full of stories about thieves, fraud artists and swindlers. Last evening I dropped into the grocery store at dusk after playing the piano at a local retirement home. I went through the self check out, packed two large black canvas bags with groceries and took them out to the car.
This morning I could not find my purse, which is really a wallet on a strap. I looked everywhere in the house and car and felt sicker by the minute when I thought about the credit cards, drivers' licence and bank cards in the purse. I called the grocery store, not expecting any miracles.
Yes!, someone had turned in a purse that fit the description of mine exactly. I rushed over to the store and everything, everything!, was intact including the cash I had. The morning staff had no idea who turned it in or where it was found. But more than one honest person had handled it. Was it one of the young men who collected the carts at the end of the night, or perhaps another customer? I may never know.
Whoever you are, thank you very much!! You made my day and reaffirmed my belief that the majority of people around me are honest and thoughtful folk.
Have you had a similar experience that ended up as a good news story? Do tell!
There are some excellent stories in the comments. Thanks for sharing!