Seeing Life Through a Lens of Joy

A wallet is left at a gas station. Then good things begin to happen.


Posted in , Aug 22, 2016

A lost wallet and the kindness of others

“Thank you for your note and gift of the money, but I just did what was morally right.” These were the words of the proprietor of a gas station off of I-84 in Connecticut.

On a trip back from Boston, my two girls and I stopped at this gas station. It wasn’t until we got home an hour and a half later that I realized I’d left my wallet in the gas station restroom.

I tried to set aside my frustration and anxiety over this and focused on taking action. First, I had to find the phone number of the gas station. Just a quick Google search, right? Well, not exactly. The number had recently changed due to new ownership.

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So I called the diner across the street. The hostess generously took down my number and had a bus boy bring it to the gas station proprietor, who then called me. He informed me that a regular customer had found my wallet and turned it over to him for safekeeping.

The gas station proprietor found my AAA card in my wallet, called the number and left a message for me, hoping AAA would reach out to me. We arranged that I would drive back to the gas station the next day to pick up my wallet.

My relief that the situation was heading the right direction was palpable, as was my appreciation for the genuine kindness and thoughtfulness of others—from the customer who found my wallet to the diner hostess and bus boy to the proprietor, who was willing to mail me my wallet if that was easier for me.

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At every step of the way, generosity of spirit was shown, which was heartening in a world where so often we witness self-focused, monocular thinking and self-serving behaviors.

I drove back to that gas station the next day with the goal of retrieving my wallet and giving an envelope, with a thank you note and money inside, to the proprietor.

I was not there when he opened the envelope but I heard from him later. That’s when he said, “I just did what was morally right.” He told me that he had given the money to the regular who found my wallet. “I am blessed. I wanted him to have the money for his good deed.”

Much good fortune followed me after I left my wallet behind on that trip back from Boston—including a powerful reminder of the goodness and generosity of others.

My world was righted and made more joyful, not just by being reunited with my wallet, but by the selfless acts of others. 
As spiritual teacher and author Marianne Williamson wrote, “Joy is what happens when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.

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