While on a mini vacation in Vegas, about 6 years ago, I was out for a walk, all by myself, on a busy side walk. Since all the people I was with were there to gamble and I was not, I took advantage of the much warmer weather, since it was a cold winter back in Minnesota.
As I was walking, I witnessed an elderly gentleman accidently drop something shiny on the ground that he had intended for his pocket.
I wasn’t too far behind him and his companion, an elderly woman. In a split second I’d seen something drop from his hands. I am not surprised that no one else witnessed this since most everyone else was moving at a quick pace.
At first I thought my eyes had played a trick on me but as I reached down and picked up what I had seen fall, I came to realize this was a money clip full of a large sum of money.
A lot of money.
I have never in my life, held in my hands, this much money. For a couple of seconds I allowed myself to ponder what I, a single mom, could do with this money. Not on frivolous things but food and bills. Yes, I was in Vegas but not on my own dime. I could never in a hundred years have afforded a vacation on my own.
How easily I could have walked away with this money but I knew in my heart I wouldn’t. What would my children think of me? The children that I had taught to be honest and to do the right thing when no one else is looking.
No one else was looking. I had no choice but to do what was true to my heart.
This man and his companion looked like the age of my own parents. As soon as the thought hit me that what if it were my parents, I started to walk really fast.
What if my parents finally got a vacation and all their fun money, that they had worked hard for, was lost in an instant?
As I chased the elderly gentlemen down I thought about what I would say once I caught up to him. When I finally did, I reached out and touched his shoulder. I awkwardly told him, "You dropped some money!” He looked at me like I was crazy as he reached into his pocket. The instant he realized that his pocket was empty his expression changed to one of shock.
As I handed him the wad of money he grabbed a hold of my hand and wouldn’t let go. He instantly thanked me and then introduced me to his wife. He then guided us out of the way of the busy sidewalk travelers. As he did so, his wife embraced me. With tears in her eyes she thanked me over and over.
The two of them reminded me of my own parents. I instantly knew that I was doing the only right and perfect thing.
They tried to give me money but I couldn’t accept a dime. They asked me why and I told them that I couldn’t take money for doing the right thing. At first they insisted until I told them that if I accepted their money that it would make me a hypocrite to my children, as I had taught them to not accept money for doing the right thing or doing an act of kindness. I had always told my kids that their pay for doing such things would be in the way of blessings in some shape or form.
I asked them to please not steal my blessing.
They finally respected my feelings, hugged me and we wished one another well.
This incident really touched my heart. I couldn’t put my finger on it but I knew that there was a lesson for me in it.
Fast forward a couple of days and I am back at home. I hadn’t really told anyone about what had happened but I ended up telling my son about it. As he walked out of the living room that evening to go to bed, he made a joke about all the things we could have done with that money. And then he turned around and said “Just kidding. If you had taken that money or accepted a reward Mom, I would have been really disappointed.”
I’m not sure what blessings came to be mine because of this incident but I can say that I have been blessed beyond measure in this life of mine.
I have told very few people about this incident of the lost money but for some reason I have never forgotten it. I have long since forgotten their names but have never forgotten them or the look in their eyes as they looked into mine.
Most of all, I will never forget the words of my son. How they’ve reminded me time and again of how important it is to live what I speak. Even when no one seems to be looking.
I don’t tell you this story so that you think I am good. But to share the lesson that I learned of walking the talk.
Until next time, hugs & love, Lori