We have all been there on public transportation when you are carrying more than you remember and you end up leaving something on the seat. It's OK when it's half a candy bar or the coffee you just bought, but the worst is when you realize you left your wallet on the seat.
This very thing happened to Stephanie Robertson-King's daughter. Her daughter was in tears when she realized her mistake of leaving her wallet on the bus.
"She naively asks if she'll get it back," Robertson-King said. "Not wanting to crush her spirit anymore-I admitted it was highly unlikely."
She didn't want to break her daughter's heart, but Robertson-King didn't have any hope of that wallet coming back.
When they got home they found a young man knocking on their front door. Shocked, the mom asked this boy what he was doing here.
He said that he had found a wallet on the bus and wanted to return it because the same thing happened to him a couple weeks ago.
"This gesture has doused my cynicism and restored my faith." Robertson-King said.
The family immediately did all they could to repay this young man for taking the time to return the forgotten wallet. This included giving him some money out of the very wallet he returned.
It was a happy reunion with a surprising twist. The 19-year-old who returned the wallet was actually the son of one of Robertson-King's co-workers.
We often doubt other people's goodness, but we need to remember there are good people in the world.
As it turned out, the young man was someone they were already connected with. We never know who is going to be the person who helps us.
We all go through different experiences that teach us different skills or give us empathy for things other people are going through. So you don't have to be an expert or a professional to reach out and help other people.
There is so much we can do for those in our community, especially those who live around us. People always need help — whether it's the old man up the street who can't pull his trash cans in or the single mom who doesn't have time to shovel her driveway. There is always something we can do. All you need to do is make a little time and look around.
People need help everywhere, and it shouldn't be that big of a deal to reach out and help others. People have little needs or big needs that don't take that long to fulfill.
The best way to make time for service is to not overbook yourself. Instead of only having the 10 minutes it takes to drive to work, give yourself 15 minutes so you have five minutes to look around and see if anyone needs your help.
We don't always think we have the skill set or the time to help other people, but we do. We have all gone through different experiences that have taught us different life skills and empathy. And service doesn't have to take a long time to be meaningful.