We’ve all lost items and much to our despair, some have been precious, irreplaceable or valuable. I own up to losing and lamenting over lost pieces over the years and have made it a habit, to turn around and check that I have all my property before leaving any area.
A friend recently lost her wallet after a quick lunch at a university hub but did not miss it until hours later. She then rushed over and searched around the table and even looked in the bins to see if her wallet had been discarded.
The wallet was handed in, intact, by an anonymous person. Not only was she surprised to get it back, but she was astonished at the integrity and generosity of the person who had not touched the contents or the money, and also had not bothered to leave his/her contact details. She knew she was extremely lucky!
My mother on the other hand, was not so lucky! She was travelling on a coach while touring Europe, when they stopped at a castle. The bus driver advised the passengers to make use of the toilet facilities as the next stop would be hours away.
Unfortunately, the toilets were situated in the depths of the castle dungeons so all the women made their way down to it. By the time the ladies reached the toilets, a number of them were bursting to go. My mother generously allowed them to precede her and therefore, ended up being the last to use a stall.
Imagine her alarm when she heard the coach driver honking his horn and realised that she was on her own and still had to travel up all the stairs to the castle entrance. In her panic, she raced out of the stall to wash her hands and forgot her camera was hanging on the back of the toilet door.
It wasn’t until the coach was half way to the next destination when she remembered the camera. She was most upset that she would never again see the photos she had taken all along her journey through Europe and it was a route that she was unlikely to repeat in the near future, if at all.
Unfortunately, my mother did not have her name and address inside or on the camera case. While many of her friends scorned the possibility that a Good Samaritan would even want to locate the owner of the camera, I firmly believe that there are some honest people who would, do their best, provided they had contact details.
Due to my mother’s camera episode, I ensure I always fill in an airline luggage tag with my details and attach it to my camera bag and my hand bag while on vacation. I have also placed a name and address label, the kind I use for envelopes, on my mobile/cell phone cover.
The aforementioned girlfriend, who had lost her wallet, realised that she had none of her contact details in her purse. It was filled with several credit cards and miscellaneous cards but none of them had her personal contact details on them. The person, who had found her purse, had no way of contacting her. The University administrative staff member was able to contact her by using her ID card number to access her details online.
I wonder how many of us, actually have our details on our phones or our wallets, or for that matter, on our camera case. My faith in humanity many be construed as a Pollyanna attitude, and while I do believe there are some honest people in the community at large, they will never be able to return your lost property to you, unless you ensure your contact details are on your items. Would you agree?
© 2013 Wendy Robinson
Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart. ~ Anne Frank (The Diary of Anne Frank)
Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For indeed, that’s all who ever have. ~ Margaret Mead (Social Anthropologist)