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Who doesn't like to feel appreciated for doing something
good? Particularly when an act requires a little bit of extra effort, it seems
natural to want to feel some gratitude.
As a reader from Southern California was walking to her
car in a bank's parking lot near where its ATM was located, she found $200
"I am unemployed and $196 overdrawn in my checking
account," she writes. Nevertheless, the next day she went to the bank and
asked the manager if someone had reported the money missing. Luckily, the
manager told her, they had indeed received a call from a customer who had lost
her money in the bank's parking lot.
The manager asked her to leave her name and number with
him. He told her that he would forward the information to the woman who had
reported losing the money. The plan was for the manager to return the money if
the woman could identify how much and where she lost it. He would also pass
along the name of the person who had found and returned the lost cash.
Indeed, when the woman was called she identified the
amount she had lost and where she had lost it. She retrieved her lost funds
from the bank's manager who told her the name of the woman who had found her
"The woman never even called to say thank you,"
my reader says. "I didn't return the money expecting anything, but a thank
you would have been nice."
She's angry that the woman did not call to thank her and
she is "seriously regretting" her decision to give the money back,
especial with her "financial dire straits."
"I am hopeful that there truly is karma, and that I
made the right decision," she says.
My reader was certain no one was looking when she found
the cash in the bank's parking lot. It would have been easy for her to simply
scoop up the cash strewn about the parking lot and use it for her personal
expenses. Clearly, she was in need of the funds. But she believed that the
right thing to do was to make an effort to see if anyone had lost the cash. She
showed great character.
Did she do the right thing? Yes, she did.
It also would have been the right thing for the person
who lost the money to acknowledge the person who found it and returned it.
That she didn't may say something about her character,
but it shouldn't change the reader's understanding that she acted with great
character when she tried to get the cash to its rightful owner. After all, she
didn't try to return it because she wanted a thank you, but because she believed
it to be the responsible thing to do.
She can certainly regret that the money's owner didn't
acknowledge her. But she can only control how she behaves, not how others
do...even though the money loser might take a lesson in civil behavior from my