The Cost of Restoring Faith in Humanity
Doug types too much...
November 13, 2017
I waited for my section to be called. I was jammed into an unforgiving hard plastic seat against a wall in a far wing of the Dulles airport. The passenger throngs were thick and deafening. I hung my head in quiet desperation.
Lines of harried folks jostled each other. A 40-ish businessman wrestled to rearrange his carry-ons in front of me. In the process, a small parcel flipped out of a side pocket and landed neatly and discreetly between my feet. He rushed on, shoved ahead by anxious people in back of him. He was gone.
I looked down. It was a money clip fashioned for a golfer. And sandwiched in the clip were 3 neatly folded twenty dollar bills.
I took note of the passenger’s face as he disappeared through the gate entrance, and when I boarded, I made a mental note of his seat number as I passed. I could have attempted a pass-off as I went by, but he was already boxed into a window seat, flanked by 2 other people – one attempting to mash a guitar case into the overhead compartment. It was a classic cattle-car cluster, so I waited until we were airborne and drinks were being served.
I handed the clip to the flight attendant and asked if she would return it, which she promptly did.
When the carts had cleared the aisle, I saw him get up and make his way back to my section.
He held up the clip with the sixty bucks. “This clip has such sentimental value and I would have felt terrible if I’d lost it. But the money was still there. Man, this is no joke – you restored my faith in humanity today.” We shook hands.
I watched him navigate his way back to his seat. Pointing to me. Exclaiming to other passengers.
I didn’t know his name.
I didn’t owe him anything.
I could have kept the money.
I looked out my window and smiled to myself.
Restoring faith in humanity doesn’t always cost much. For that guy, the tab was only $60. A bargain.
For him and me.