Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Take it or leave it?

Life imitates cliche hypothetical:

It was one of those moments when you're certain a Candid Camera crew is going to jump out of the bushes.

I walked out of the Giant Eagle last night and spotted a ten dollar bill on the ground. No one else was around. It was after midnight. There were no other cars parked near mine. It was pretty clear the owner had simply dropped the bill and not noticed.

Now, I'm skeptical of things that float into my life for free, and I don't make it a habit to rely on ill-gotten gains.

The first thing that went through my mind, obviously, was the fear of being punked. The second, obviously, was to scan the scene for someone looking a little distraught over suddenly coming up short.


It seemed like I was in the clear to grab the bill and go, but still... what to do?

It wasn't one dollar or even five.

It was $10, that weird amount of money that could either be nothing to someone, or everything.

$10 can buy 40 meals at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.

It can pay for a week's worth of breakfast in Cleveland schools.

So what did I do? I picked it up and spent it.

Selfish? Maybe. Did I need it? Probably not. Would I have better karma if I had left it on the ground for someone else to find? Who's to say...

So at the end of the day, my assets were a little more liquid and someone else's wallet was a little lighter.

For the record, I am a firm believer in paying it forward, so today, I made a small donation to Laura's Home for women in crisis in Cleveland.

Has this ever happened to you? What would/did you do?

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