Doing the Simple, Right Thing

Posted: August 21, 2013 in Values
Tags: , , ,

GlassesI want to say “thank you” to some mystery person at the Kentucky State Fair today for doing the simple, right thing.  I have no idea who it was or anything about this person other than that it was a female.

Here is what happened…

I enjoyed a morning at the fair in Louisville with my parents who drove up today from Winchester, KY.  After we walked through the many exhibits, it was time to eat some of that famous fair food.  Dad and I each had donut burgers (burgers that use Krispy Kreme donuts for the bun) and Mom had a chicken pita.  I followed the donut burger with a jalapeno corn dog just because I can.  (Hey, it’s the fair.  Don’t judge.)  We sat on a bench to eat and I, of course, had to take a picture of Mom and Dad with their food.  Dad removed his eyeglasses and sat them on the bench while I took the photo.

Fast forward about 30 minutes and Dad realized when we were nearly home that he had left his glasses on that bench.  He didn’t want to go back and see if they were still there, so we went on to my house from where Mom and Dad then headed back to Winchester.  Of course, there was no way I was going to stay home and not try to get Dad’s glasses, so I returned to the fair.

I went first to the bench where we ate, but the glasses weren’t there.  An information booth was nearby, so I asked the lady there about them in hopes that some kind soul took a few steps out of his or her way and turned them in.  Fortunately, the lady had been given the glasses by some other woman, and then the information booth lady turned them in to the security office nearby.  She pointed me in the direction of that office and a couple of minutes later I had the glasses in hand.  (Then I got a cherry funnel cake, but that’s another story.  I said, don’t judge.)  I tried to offer the kind lady at the information booth a reward, but she wouldn’t take it.

So I was soon on my way home again, thankful that some mystery lady had taken a little effort to do something kind for someone she didn’t know in hopes that a pair of eyeglasses and their owner would somehow reunite.

I wonder what went through that lady’s mind when she saw the glasses on the bench?  I suppose a few options quickly presented themselves:

  • Leave them there in hopes that the person who lost them would come back and find them.
  • Take them for herself.
  • Throw them away (I know that’s a strange thought, but a trash can was within reach of the bench and some people are just plain mean.)
  • Turn them in to someone official.

Fortunately, she did the simple, right thing and turned them in.

Doing the right thing isn’t always simple, of course.  She could have been in some far off corner of the fair nowhere close to an information booth, making the decision much harder.  The glasses could have been found in an animal stall half covered in manure, making the decision to handle them much tougher.  She could have needed a pair of glasses herself and discovered that the prescription was perfect for what she needed, choosing to keep them while thinking “Finders keepers, losers weepers.”  If doing the right thing is simple, though – a few extra steps, some simple action, a little time, a phone call or a few words spoken – then the cost to the individual is minimal and the reward can be great.

Of course, we ought to do the right thing, whether it’s simple or not.  I believe most of us know right from wrong.  We have God-given consciences according to Romans 2.  Those consciences kick in regardless of education, religion, or other factors unless, of course, we have violated that still, small voice so many times that we no longer even hear it, much less let it guide us.  In a world where people can kill others for the fun of it as we heard this week regarding some conscience-seared teens in Oklahoma, it’s refreshing to be on the receiving end of someone doing something nice for a stranger.

Thank you, mystery fair goer, who turned in the glasses.  Thank you, information booth lady, who gave them to security.  Thank you, security, who gave them to me.

May each of us be that person for someone else daily by making the conscious choice of doing the simple (or not-so-simple), right thing.

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