It was this past August, and Carol and I were returning from a trip to Georgia. As we traveled up Highway 93 North, we stopped at the newly remodeled/rebuilt New Hampshire Visitors Center in Hooksett. They did a great job on it, making it a combination of shopping/dining/gas stations and a New Hampshire History Museum. I spent a long time at the exhibits, and wanted to spend more time, but we wanted to get home by dark, as we have to travel through moose country on the last leg of the journey home.
As I stepped off of the curb, into the parking lot, I glanced down at the pavement … yes … always on the lookout for that penny … but, this time, I saw something much more: It was a shiny Bank Debit Card. As I reached down and picked it up (sub-consciously looking around to see if I was noticed), I saw that it was a Business Debit Card. I noted that it looked fairly new, and it was still well within the expiration date. I then took my wallet out, and placed it inside, for safe-keeping.
Here’s the first thought that I had:
I was glad that I was the one who found it.
I was glad that the owner didn’t have to worry about someone using their lost card.
I know full well, as I never carry cash and always use the same type of card for transactions, which, these days, if the amount of the debit is under a set amount, you don’t even have to sign the receipt.
As a “card-carrying” businessman myself, I know full well the possibilities, and the concern which a lost card can bring.
I thought about how long we were at the Welcome Center … I would safely guess that it was the longest period of time we’d ever spent at one of these stops. It seemed to “be arranged” that we would step off that curb at just the exact, right time. It’s hard to imagine someone seeing the card and not picking it up … regardless of motive. It must have “just been dropped” … just before we headed out.
Anyway, I am thankful, as I wrote in Part One, that I was raised to be honest. I remember, as I thought about the “coincidence” of us finding the card, how thankful I was to have been given the opportunity to bless someone we didn’t know, just by being honest.
First thing the next morning, I called the telephone number listed on the back of the card, and explained about finding the card. The Bank was in Massachusetts, and no one had called, yet, about the card being missing. Somehow, that made me more grateful to have found it. If the wrong person had found the card, and it wasn’t noticed to be missing for a while … well, I was glad I found it.
I really didn’t want to give my name or any information; I just wanted to report the card. However, there was something else that moved me to at least give my name and telephone number. I wanted whoever owned the card to know that there are still honest people in the world. You just never know how your actions, even small, may affect someone else in a positive way. I know that regardless of how I am treated by someone, or I see people who act in a negative way, how much it blesses me to see someone who was “raised right.” It encourages me to “keep on keeping on.”
So, I gave my contact information, and explained to the man at the Bank why.
Later that day, when I came back in the house from Summer chores, there was a message on the answering machine. I recognized the name from the name on the Card. He left his telephone number. Again … I thought about not calling … I really didn’t want to. It was no big deal to me, it was just something you do. Period. But, I got that same feeling about someone else knowing that there are still honest people in the world … so I called.
What are the chances? The man’s Bank was headquartered in Massachusetts, but he lived in New Hampshire. He had been traveling to spend some time with his son in college. Somehow, he noticed something about me, just from the way I talked: That I was a Christian. Then, he confirmed that, he too, was a Christian. What are the chances? In our conversation, of course, he thanked me. Right off the bat, I told him how thankful I was to have been “raised right,” and explained to him my motive for wanting him to know that, yes, there are still honest people in the world.
That was in late August. Now, it’s the Labor Day Weekend. It’s the Saturday of the Holiday, and of course, I spent the day at School. Leaving the School, I did something I hardly ever do: I stopped at the local Bank branch to take some cash out of the ATM. By the way, do you know why they call it an ATM? Because that’s where All The Money is. Anyway, as I put my card into the slot, it wouldn’t go in. I tried it again. Still wouldn’t go in. Then, I saw why:
You guessed it … there was a Debit/Credit Card left in the slop. Shiny and new … and, it was Saturday … Banks wouldn’t be open until Tuesday … Long, Holiday weekend. Yet, again, I felt that same feeling. How it was the first Saturday I had worked at School this School year. I know it was the first Saturday of the School year, but you get the idea. I hardly ever stop at this Bank’s ATM, as I don’t carry cash as a rule … even if I plan to spend it all on the next stop …
I was so glad I was “raised right.”
Raised to be honest.
And, that I was taught the difference between right and wrong.
And, yes, taught to work hard.
By the living examples of those who raised me, who were as hard-working as they were honest.
I may have strayed, but they never did.
Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.