Has society fallen to a new despicable low? Hopefully, it has not. However, given the steady diet of doom and gloom provided by news media, we sometimes wonder. This week, my husband and I experienced an act of kindness that unlocked a window of hope. Hope in the inherent goodness of people. Hope in strangers who go out of their way to extend a helping hand.
Chris and I drove to Dallas to see my cousin Peggy and her beautiful family. While in Dallas, I contacted a friend I have known for 71 years — since we played together in dusty Barstow, Texas.
After being showered with overwhelming red carpet treatment by relatives and my childhood friend, I wanted a picture to recall this special time. While posing for the picture, I carelessly flung my purse on the back of our car. Only when we reached my cousin’s home did I realize the bag had vanished.
We retraced the route, called my friend, and waited. After a few hours, the phone rang. A woman’s voice described the following. Driving home, she noticed a purse on the grass just outside the gated neighborhood where my friend lives. This woman spent a lot of time and effort searching through insurance information, credit cards, and documents for a phone number or email address to match the name on the driver’s license. Among other items, she found a letter from a camping facility out of Glen Rose, Texas.
When she telephoned the campsite, the owners assured her that we had been there the day before. Yes, they had our cell phone number. She only had one concern. Someone must have found the purse earlier and removed all the cash. We relieved her fears of theft by confessing that I almost never carry money with me. No cash had been there to steal!
Today, all of us live in a hurly-burly world. Who takes time to pick up a lost item on the side of a road? Who has the energy to search through papers to locate contact information? An extremely thoughtful individual in Dallas, Texas took that time and spent the energy required to reunite a plain black bag with its grateful owner. Goodness continues through the gloom. Kindness prevails at a time when we feel bombarded with callousness. What a welcome ray of hope this woman gave us. I submit even greater thanks for a stranger’s kindness than for my retrieved handbag.