Finders   3 comments

October 29, 2018

What would you do if you found $50 on the ground (or substitute your local currency)

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Depends on the circumstances, of course.

I’ve had actual experience at this. In Alaska, if you turn cash into the police, the cops are under no obligation to find the owner and if someone comes to claim it and doesn’t have proof it is theirs, it won’t be turned over to them. Eventually, it just gets absorbed into the general fund of the police department. And I am opposed to funding statist organizations like the police department, so … yeah, I’m not taking cash to the cops.

Money on the GroundSometimes when you find money, there is no way to know who it belongs to. It’s on the sidewalk and it could belong to anyone. Sometimes you just thank God for the financial help, and, yes, I’ve been in financial situations where a surprise $50 meant we ate that week. When you grow up poor, you don’t look gift horses in the mouth. Both times, I checked around the nearby shops to see if anyone had reported losing some cash and didn’t get any nibbles, so — yes, I kept it. But that was a long time ago and I’ve changed my ways since then. I still might keep the money if the circumstances were right, but I’d try harder to find the owner, because ….

Once I was picking up a hundred dollar bill when a young woman came running out of a nearby store, patting her pockets and looking around frantically. I said “Are you looking for something?”

She said, tears in her eyes, “I dropped my money. I guess it’s gone.” And I handed over the money to her great relief.

Once the money was right beside a car, so I folded it into a piece of paper and slid it under the wiper, because it was obvious it had been dropped as someone was getting out of their car. I did something similar with a terrific fox hat (probably $500 in value) I found by someone’s car one warming winter day. I hung it on the side mirror in a plastic shopping bag because I’d be deeply sad if I lost my own terrific fox hat.

The most dramatic cash encounter, however, was a definite test of my honesty and it was hard. I was at a church conference and our group was staying in the building. While the kids and my husband were bedding down, I went to the chapel to be quiet for a while and when I sat down on the pew, there was an envelope with $15,700 in it. It didn’t have a name on it. I seriously thought about what we could do with that money. It was hard to decide not to take all or some of it. What I didn’t know is that the owner of the money thought he’d left it in his car and it had been stolen while they were at a mall across town because his kid had left a door unlocked. I could have pocketed that money and nobody would have been the wiser and I wouldn’t have ever have been confronted for it … except by God. I knew this wasn’t pocket change. Whoever had lost the money, unless they were a millionaire, would feel the pain. In fact, the shop owner who had lost the money would have probably have gone out of business. So, the next morning, I went to the conference leadership and asked if anyone was missing any money. They said “no”, but about an hour later, a man who owned a shop in that town came to me with profuse thanks. My honesty had saved his business. That was 26 years ago and we still get a Christmas card and an occasional gift from him and his wife — whenever their business does well, they kick something nice our way and they’re fans of my books, so — I’ve probably gotten more than $16,000 in satisfaction and assorted goodies. Honesty has its perks, though you often won’t see them at the side before you’re actually honest.

So, what would I do if I found $50 on the ground? I would make a true good faith effort to find the owner, but I wouldn’t feel guilty if that effort failed and I’m never giving money to cops.

Posted October 29, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop, Uncategorized

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3 responses to “Finders

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  1. Giving cash to cops? Yeah, I’m with you on that one too!


  2. I’ve never found a large sum of cash, but I think I’d be less inclined to keep a lot of money than just a little.


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