Glen James, a homeless man living in Boston, may not be homeless anymore after he promptly returned over $40,000 in lost money; consisting of $2,400 in cash and $39,500 in travelers checks, which he found at the South Bay Mall in Dorchester on Saturday evening.
This act alone was proof enough that no matter how bad our circumstances or situations may be, we still have a choice to choose to be a force to do good. As Viktor E. Frankl said,
“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.“
James had clearly chosen his own way by returning the backpack, with all its contents, to the rightful owner.
Just a while ago, I read in Seth Godin book ‘Linchpin’, “The act of the gift is in itself a reward.” James’ good deed not only benefited the student who lost the backpack but it has also benefited himself. Ethan Whittington, a 27-year-old marketing firm employee, heard about James’ good deed online and thought that he deserved a little more than a pat on the back from the police for being a Good Samaritan. So Whittington started a fundraising campaign for James, which has won the hearts of more than 4,000 people who have donated to the campaign.
James, thank you for the lesson in kindness which is a great lesson for the faithless to believe in the goodness of the human spirit. I hope that James’ act is an inspiration to you as it is to me and that it has rekindled the goodness that has always been a part of you.
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