Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Lost and found

Last month, I received an email informing me that I'd won a $200 voucher to spend at a big ticket retailer as part of a monthly promotional draw. How exciting! The voucher was couriered to me a couple of days later and I thought about many ways I could use it to help set my new home office.

A few days later, a second $200 voucher arrived from the same person at the same retailer. Even the congratulatory note was identical.

My next step was obvious. I emailed her back, thanking her for the original voucher and explaining that a second one had arrived that day. Perhaps she could send a courier ticket for me to safely return the second voucher? Here is her response:
"Oh my! You're THE most honest person ever! I was just going through my voucher records trying to figure out where the missing voucher was. I'm so very sorry!"
A similar thank you message arrived once the voucher was returned, full of gratitude and seemingly surprised that I sent it back. I find it a bit sad that honesty is seen as unexpected, but there's no way that second voucher should be mine and it was immediately obvious that I must return it. Honesty is its own reward.

Yesterday, I was coming home from my morning walk and spotted some 'rubbish' in the front garden. It certainly hadn't been there when I left an hour earlier. I tweeted about it.

Mr Weka and I conferred; although the bank note was immediately outside our bedroom window, we didn't think either of us had dropped it. I checked that the cash I'd been paid a few days earlier was still in my wallet (it was). We agreed that $50 is a sizeable amount of cash to lose and that this situation was very different to the time when the weather gods blew a pair of women's track pants into our backyard, or the time that a book was anonymously hand delivered to my letter box - addressed to me.

I set up a twitter poll, but already knew that I would hand the money in at the local police station. The conversation following the poll reinforced that my decision is the right thing to do. $50 is a lot of money for someone to lose. Who knows what it was destined for? If it is unclaimed and eventually returned to me, I will donate it to charity. Honesty is its own reward.

I've lost a few special items before and searched endlessly for them. Some have monetary value while another has sentimental value beyond belief. My precious taonga is still out there somewhere. It's of no value to anyone outside of my whānau and I hope that karma helps bring it home to me. Honesty is its own reward.

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