27 March 2012

On the Kindness of Strangers

Last Friday, in a complete haze, I mistakenly left my wallet on the bus home. I went about the rest of my evening, until hours later, I had the realization that I didn't have my wallet and had been driving without a license. I went into a full-on panic, before calling the CTA Lost and Found, cancelling all of my credit cards, and asking my father to loan me some dough to get me through the weekend. I spent Saturday afternoon at the DMV getting a new driver's license. I spent the weekend making a list of the insurance cards, my library card, the countless irreplaceable knick nacks stashed in my wallet, counting my losses and wondering how I had been so darn careless.


And then came Monday.

On Monday I came into work with a fuzzy head and tired eyes. I told my coworkers that I was down on my luck, and so disappointed that my wallet was gone. My red message light was lit, I began to listen to the voice-mail and my heart started to pump more and more quickly as the message relayed that my wallet had been found and kept by a student at UIC. Everything was safe, they located me quite unexpectedly through my LinkedIn profile, and I could pick up my wallet as soon as possible.

I thought and thought - how lucky I am. Against all odds, in such a big place, all it took was the kindness of a stranger to find my wallet and make the effort to find me and reach out to me directly. How unexpected. Just after I'd angrily lost all hope in humanity - people came through. Chicago is a big city of strangers, but we are a community none-the-less. To the one who returned my wallet thank you for your honesty and compassion. You have restored my faith in humanity. I will never forget this.

This is the least I can do for getting my wallet returned!!

To continue my good luck, my department had me purchase a pool of Lotto tickets. The winner is picked tonight, and the prize is (gasp) $360 million!! Wish me luck!

This is what happens when a lost wallet is magically returned to its owner!!


  1. i am so glad your wallet was returned! it is so nice to have moments like this when you feel like you get back from the universe what you're putting in! :)

  2. I used to notice all of the things that were wrong with how people treat each other. It seemed as though people were becoming more rude, uncompassionate, and uncaring. It was really depressing! It turns out, if you decide to open your eyes, there is still a ton of goodness in the world. Over time, my perception did an about-face, and so did my mood.
    A lot of my motivation has been inspired by an amazing documentary project I have had the great fortune to work on called American Bear. It simply a beautiful exploration of the kindness that strangers exhibit in this country. The couple who made the project went around the country for 60 days relying on the kindness of strangers for shelter each night and documented their experience. The insight that they shed on this underexposed subject is so powerful! Check out the website here: http://www.AmericanBearFilm.com
    And you can also check out the facebook page here:

  3. Hari,

    Thanks for the comment! I will definitely check out this film. xoxo