Sunday, October 4, 2009

Kindness begets kindness

Last week we went to the Melbourne Zoo for Ryan's birthday. Family and friends came and we all watched the animals, ate cake, and in general had a grand old time.

Towards the end of the day I found a mobile phone.

What's your first thought when you find something like this?

Mine was to work out who owned it and get it back to them. My life is inside my phone, and I would be lost without it. So I imagined the owner of this phone would be the same. We did some sleuthing, worked out it was a young girls' phone. We phoned 'mum' in the address book, got the address and sent it back.

A few days later there was a knock at my door and it was Danielle from Moss Industry delivering a gorgeous bunch of flowers to me. The girl had been so grateful that I'd returned the phone that she wanted to thank me somehow.

That made me similarly happy and sad at the same time. So happy that I now had a great bunch of flowers and had made someone really happy. But sad that these sorts of things don't happen all the time. It was so out of the ordinary that I would return the phone that they felt they had to do something for me in return.

It probably seems to silly, but I wish the world was nicer. Wish that people weren't always just out for their own gain. I could have kept the phone, but why? It wasn't mine, and the rightful owner needed it. If only more people would do the little things, like post back a phone, or call the owner of a dog wandering in their street, or mail back letters that come to the wrong address, the world would be so much more happy.

* Meaghan

What I'm reading: Colour me Katie - a wonderful blog about happy things.


Sarah October 4, 2009 at 10:55 PM  

Funny that you should write about this now. In the last couple of weeks I found myself in conversations about finding a wallet and handing it in, lying on your CV, etc. Each conversation started with someone saying, "I'd keep the money" or "I'd lie on my CV" but all of them ended with the majority agreeing that at the end of the day they would hand in the wallet or wouldn't feel right about lying. These conversations were nice, I kept thinking - people really are nice, more than we give ourselves credit for! We're all really just trying to do the right thing!

But then, on Monday, my phone went missing and a few hours later I realised it was in someone else's hands and they were running up a huge phone bill. They probably conveniently decided that I was rich enough that I wouldn't care (it was certainly the fanciest phone I've ever had).

I don't think the person who took my phone was purposefully being nasty, he/she just didn't feel the empathy you did when you found the phone at the zoo. A lack of empathy seems so much easier to accept than cold-hearted cruelty don't you think?


Oh Sarah that's horrible. Really freaking horrible. It seems for every person who hands in a phone, there's someone who causes more pain and suffering than necessary.
I would like to be as optimistic as you, and hope that people who don't hand in lost goods (or run up huge bills grrr) just lack empathy. But I also believe that society is made up of a hugely diverse range of people with equally diverse range of motivators.
The people who have your phone probably don't have empathy, but they also probably think it's funny. They think it's funny to do that, because for them it lacks consequences. They've gone beyond just keeping the phone for themselves, and are deliberately causing harm.
And it's awful, damn awful.
I hope it resolves swiftly for you.

Susan October 5, 2009 at 10:00 PM  

Meaghan what a lovely and kind thing for you to do. Its the little things hey, the stuff that takes barely amoment out of our day yet so many cant be bothered, nor =do they care.

Those flowers are so pretty and how fab to be able to look at them and smile over this :)

Its such a relief to get something back after losing it, for someone to find it and bother to do that. I've lost my wallet before and had it retiurned and took the woman choclates as I was so damn pleased to have it back... untouched with money still in it.

Merryn Gomez October 6, 2009 at 9:18 AM  

Meaghan you are such a lovely kind and giving person, I can not imagine you responding in any other way. And how sweet of them to acknowledge your kindness with such a beautiful gift.

Renee Bell October 6, 2009 at 5:55 PM  

gorgeous flowers and so sweet of the girl to do that for you!!!
If only there were more people like the two of you in the world!!!

Kate Ellis October 11, 2009 at 8:25 AM  

you are a sweet heart!

I lost my phone for all of 15 minutes, went back to get it and it was gone. I rang it and the little buggers answered, basically laughing and had no intention of giving it back. I used another phone and cancelled the account striaight away, but the little buggers! They could have just handed it in to the shop where I lost it! but nooooo, had to take it with them! Luckily it was a phone I hated, and I was able to upgrade to my beutiful iphone! lol ... Kx


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