Do You Have Your Wallet?

Do You Have Your Wallet?

From Chicken Soup for the Kid's Soul

Do You Have Your Wallet?

The experience gathered from books, though often valuable, is but the nature of learning: whereas the experience gained from actual life is of the nature of wisdom.

Samuel Smiles

This is a story about a learning experience that had a big effect on the way that I live my life. The teacher in the story did not scream, assign homework, give me tests or even grade me on my work. I was taught by one of the most effective methods of teaching, one that only people with lots of love can do.

“My wallet! Where is it?” were my first words when I found out my wallet was missing. I searched my memory for a few good seconds, then realized that I had left my precious wallet at the library. Not only did I leave it at the library, but I had left it in the library’s public restroom! I distinctly remembered seeing it on the shelf as I went to the bathroom.

Because the library was now closed, I had to wait until the next morning to begin my search. When I got there the next day, all I found was a sparkling clean restroom, its counters clean and its floors shiny white. This was the first time I could remember ever hating to see a clean bathroom. As I walked out, I looked at myself in the mirror and shook my head at the forgetful fool in front of me.

Now all I could hope for was that the person who cleaned the restroom had found my wallet. So I politely approached an old lady reading her book at the front desk. I asked her if a wallet had been found in the bathroom yesterday. She didn’t answer me until she found a good place to pull herself away from her book. Then she peered at me from behind the thick black glasses parked on her nose. Letting out a quiet sigh, she slowly struggled out of her comfortable sitting position. She walked through a door and vanished for a moment. Then she came back to the desk.

“No.”

That was that. I quickly thanked her and walked off.

I wondered what I would do if I had found a wallet containing sixty dollars, a phone card and many other irreplaceable personal items. Finally, I painfully accepted the fact that my wallet was gone.

A week later, after I had canceled my bank card and reported my license missing, I received a mysterious package in the mail. Sure enough, it was my wallet! And most amazingly, nothing was missing! But something was different about it. There was a little yellow sheet of paper folded up in one of the wallet pockets that had not been there before. I slowly unfolded the paper. Into my hand fell a little copper medallion of Christ. The letter read something like this:

Always keep this medallion with you, no matter what your religion is, so that the angel that was watching over you last week will always be close.

This person didn’t even leave a return address, so I couldn’t thank whoever it was. I felt that this was an act of pure kindness that was extremely rare.

From that day on, I promised myself that whenever I am in a situation where I can help others the way that this person helped me, I will follow this example and make them as happy as I was when I opened that package!

Laksman Frank, age 16

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