I try to always have faith in people. Maybe it’s partially because I hope people will do the same for me someday. In general, I believe there’s goodness in everyone even if it’s covert at times. When an unfavorable event occurs, I like to think that something good will come from it–an invariable silver lining in every cloud. Perhaps it seems idealistic to think this way but sometimes people really are conscientious of others and go the extra mile to make positive impacts and those experiences reinforce the hopeful credence in a society of good, considerate people.
It was December and I was holiday shopping one night at the chaotic mall lined with crowds of people like a cornstalk maze. I had visited a clothing store and purchased about $175.00 worth of gifts. Then I scurried down to a department store to buy cologne for my son. As I left the department store and found my way to the parking lot, I realized something was missing—the bag from the clothing store. I recalled putting it down on the floor, as I pulled my wallet from my purse and I never picked the bag back up.
Once again, I parted through the masses and returned to the department store. I asked the store manager if anyone turned in the bag. She said that no one had turned anything in. I bobbed and weaved my way back to the clothing store in the hope that someone had returned the bag there. I spoke to the manager and explained my situation. I handed her my receipt for all the items I had purchased. I always keep receipts in my wallet and never in in the bag. She made a copy of the receipt and posted it behind the register, in case anyone came in to return those items without a receipt. She also directed me to mall security to have them take a report, so they could send notification to all the mall stores. I thanked her because she was knowledgeable and she gave me a lot of helpful information. She smiled and I noticed the gentleness in her hazel eyes; she was a kind soul.
Mall security was just a few doors down from the clothing store. The stout, dark haired security guard opened his small notepad and took a written report of all the missing items. He also wrote down my cell number and said he would call if they had any updates. In his deep voice, he said that he hoped the items would be returned to me. His tone was genuine and he reached out and shook my hand. I said that I was grateful for his help and headed home.
I wished that the bag would somehow show up. A family member said, “You know why this happened? Because you live a world of unicorns and rainbows and you think everyone is good. The world is full of bad people; I see it everyday and you need to have your eyes open to it.” I didn’t let those words stick to me; they rolled right off my vibe. I actually had compassion for him because his life experience had negatively tainted his vision of humanity.
“I believe that people are kind-hearted and if you’re a good, kind person others will extend the same goodness and kindness to you. I don’t believe in your world and my eyes don’t see what you see,” I said in a gentle tone and exited the room.
About an hour after I arrived home, my cell phone rang. The mall security guard said the bag was found and I could pick it up at the clothing store. I thanked him for the call. He said that he was happy that it worked out for me and wished me a happy holiday season.
Before I left to return to the mall I told the doubting family member that the bag was turned in and waiting for me.
“Wow. I’m very surprised,” he said with raised eyebrows and pursed lips.
“Maybe you need to open your eyes and see the goodness in people,” I said as I reached for my car keys.
When I entered the clothing store, the manger recounted that a woman came in right after I left for the security office and told a cashier that she found the bag in the department store and figured someone would be missing gifts. The manager handed me the bag with all the items in tact and said, “I’m so glad you got it back. That’s good Karma.”
“Indeed, it is,” I said with a smile and then thanked her for all of her help. I felt the need to really acknowledge what she did for me. My reasoning was twofold: first, she was thoughtful and spent a great deal of time assisting me and I needed her to know that I really appreciated it. Secondly, I wanted to make sure that she understood the positive impact she had made, so she would continue in that vein when dealing with other people. If we could acknowledge when people do nice things for us, it might be a way to reinforce that behavior, so ultimately kindness and goodness become norms in our society. As I drove home, I sent thoughts of gratitude to everyone that helped find my items and I sent a special thought of thanks to the woman who returned the bag. There is goodness everywhere. Sometimes you have to look hard to find it. “Yes, I do believe in good people. I do believe they are all over the world and I do believe you can find them even during the holidays. “
Bright holiday blessings,