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Do Good Deeds, Your Reward Will Come

reward for good deedsA few months ago, my husband and I were in the nearby mountain town Julian, celebrating my birthday. We went out to eat at one of the local restaurants and when we left, I left my purse on the chair that was next to me.

The thing is, I ordered a slice of apple pie to go, and as we left, my mind was fully on the bag in my hand that carried the container with my delectable piece of pie. So, distracted by dessert, I completely forgot my purse wasn’t in my hand.

It took me until midnight to realize it was no longer in my possession. Yeah, most of you would probably not make it that long, at least needing to send a few texts, or post a pic to instagram by then. But me and my non-technological self can last days without my phone, and since I have my husband who usually does the act of actually paying for things, I don’t even really need my purse. But by midnight, I absolutely needed to put on some chapstick (which is one thing I cannot live without), so I went to my non-present purse to fetch some.

Obviously it wasn’t there.

The next morning we hustled over to the restaurant and the people working there didn’t know anything about it. They called the manager on duty from the night before and she didn’t know anything about it either. Who knows who took it, but obviously someone did, and the only thing they gained from keeping my purse and not turning it in was $20. Remember that number while I tell you the rest of my story… $20.

I remember thinking, I would give them the $20 that was in my wallet if they just gave me back my purse like an honest, decent human being. I really just didn’t want to go through the hassle of getting a new phone, new license, new debit card, new AAA card, cancelling everything that was taken, and replacing everything else that was in there… including my chapstick, which at this point I had not been able to apply for over 12 hours, which is basically the death of me, lol!

I was able to replace everything, and this event even forced me to finally give in and buy my first smart phone–which by the way, I barely ever use, so I don’t know how or why people are walking around with this thing connected to their fingertips. Live life for goodness sake, people!

Side story: I was at my sister’s birthday party last night and I was trying to post a picture I just took on my phone to instagram. Meanwhile, I wasn’t able to enjoy the real life moments as they passed, and I almost missed singing the happy birthday song to my sister because of it, lol!

Back to my story…

Fast forward a few months, and my husband Kyle and I are taking a quick lunch trip to Carl’s Jr. (which in our neck of the woods is a fast food burger joint… I love their Western Bacon Cheeseburger, but I don’t endorse their “sex sells” commercials).

After ordering our food, Kyle went to the drink machine while I found us the perfect seat, a booth table. And my perfect spot just happened to have a purse sitting against the wall on the booth seat. I looked around. There was nothing at the table. In fact, the table was clean, and no one was around who looked like they just got up for a second. No woman would purposely leave her purse alone at her table if she was going to go out of sight.

I told my husband and I asked him if I should just give it to the people behind the counter working. I trusted the guy who took our order. He is there every time, and seems to be a very good guy. I picked up the purse and handed it over, showing him where I found it. He said that he knew her and she had just left. He let everyone know and he put the purse behind the counter.

About 2 minutes passed and a woman came running into Carl’s Jr, heading straight for our table with an anxious look on her face. I was glad she came while I was there so I could tell her what happened to her purse. Before she could say anything, I said, “Did you leave your purse? I gave it to them,” and pointed to the front counter. She said “Oh thank you!” and went to ask for her purse and one of the ladies working gave it to her. She chatted with the lady behind the counter for a few moments.

Meanwhile, I was telling my husband how happy I was that she got to claim her purse back. I was so glad that I got to be a part of that. It was so rewarding to know that I helped someone from having to replace all her purse belongings, and go through that time consuming hassle.

Then my husband and I were reminiscing about my lost purse experience and how the people who took my purse only gained $20 out of it, while I had to go through the whole ordeal of replacing and cancelling everything, etc. To me, it’s not worth $20 at all. I would have given them the dang $20 if they returned my purse to me!

Then the woman rushes over to our table and slaps down a 20 dollar bill. My husband and I were like, “No, you don’t have to do that!” But she insisted and quickly hurried out the door to wherever she was originally headed in the first place.

I was amazed. And I almost cried. It’s not about $20. It’s just really weird how it happened that way, how the whole time, the people who took my purse basically did it for a quick easy $20, not even thinking about what I would have to go through in order for them to be able to keep that $20.

And how the woman whose purse I turned in gave me a $20 reward without even thinking about it. She was just so happy to have her purse back and not having to deal with all the consequences of losing a purse full of all your stuff, sometimes very personal stuff, or even personal information.

It’s sad how horrible this world is. There shouldn’t be a reward for turning in something that isn’t yours. That should just be a given.

All this to say, keep doing good deeds. If you find $20 on the street and there’s no one around who could have just dropped it, go ahead and keep it. Although, legally I think you’re supposed to go turn it in at the police station, but seriously, cash? Who can claim a 20 dollar bill that someone else found lying on the sidewalk? But if you find a whole purse or wallet, just turn it in! Most likely, the wallet/purse owner would be dying to give you a reward rather than lose his/her entire wallet/purse.

Even if we don’t get a monetary award for doing a good deed, shouldn’t we still feel a sense of joy for making that person’s life easier than it could have turned out?

That joy is something that the person who took my purse will not experience. That is their loss. They gained $20 by losing the experience of feeling utter joy for helping another person out.

They also didn’t get to experience the joy of someone giving them the $20 reward as a gift for their good deed. They decided to just steal it. And yes, if the money you find is connected to a name by being in the same compartment as, say, a driver’s license (i.e. in the same purse) then it is stealing, because you are knowingly taking something that you know belongs to someone else.

So they did something wrong to be able to keep the $20, which I personally would be wracked with guilt for doing.

But the reward of doing a good deed, in it of itself, is worth much more than $20, even if you’re broke. If you don’t believe me, you must not have helped another person out recently.

There is a moral problem in our society. I’m not saying that everyone is bad. Everyone does bad things and good things, and there are different levels of good and bad. But certain things should really never be done, but people do them anyway.

In my experience in life, doing the right thing has always gotten me more ahead in life. It might take a little longer, but I never end up in a situation that I regret. Because for every decision there is a consequence. Some consequences will be good, and some will be bad, but it will always be based on whether you did something that was right or wrong.

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