Faith in Humanity Restored

An incredible thing happened today.  I received an envelope in the mail that contained a $2 bill.  There is nothing incredible about the $2 bill itself, but the fact that it arrived has restored my faith in humanity.

A couple weeks ago, I borrowed a neighbor’s car.  Trying to be appreciative, I took it to the neighborhood coin op car wash to clean.  I put 7 quarters in the machine and . . . nothing. 

I looked around for a phone number to call . . . nothing.

I looked around for a sign identifying the name of the business . . . nothing.  Well, not exactly.  There was a sign that said, “Car Wash.”

I got angry.  I wondered how many people on that day lost a little bit of money in the machine.  I wondered what the total gain was for the operator of the car wash. 

I went home.  I started to do some research.  I discovered the name of the business, the owner’s name and contact information.  I called. 

The owner answered the phone, seemed surprised that I had found a way to reach him, and assured me that he would reimburse me for my loss.  I doubted it. 

$1.75 is barely worth making a fuss over.  Most people would have gone away angry and, maybe, cheated the next cashier who gave them extra change thinking that made things even somehow.  I made the fuss. 

The fuss took me a couple of hours, some internet research and several phone calls to government agencies.  Clearly, my time was not worth the $1.75.  But, I had nothing better to do that day and decided to fight the fight for the many people in the neighborhood who have lost their money. 

And, today, in my mail arrived a $2 bill.  It seems much more practical to have sent a $2 bill than to send a $1 bill and 3 quarters.  And, I appreciated the extra quarter for my troubles. 

Next time I go by that car wash, I will check to see if the owner has posted a phone number to call for others who lose their change.  Having fought the fight for the greater good, I hope to see the greater good served.  In the meantime, my faith in humanity has been restored by the gesture of sending an extra quarter when I expected nothing.