Good news: people really do care

Money woes abound: while the NHL is undergoing (or undertaking?) a strike (or lockout, depending upon which week we’re referring to), the Toronto Maple Leafs has a collective price tag (are they on your Christmas wish list?) of — how much? A billion dollars?

Money woes abound: while the NHL is undergoing (or undertaking?) a strike (or lockout, depending upon which week we’re referring to), the Toronto Maple Leafs has a collective price tag (are they on your Christmas wish list?) of — how much? A billion dollars?

The Americans’ home country has had many upsets and negative events: consider Hurricane Sandy (whose actual damages and costs are unfathomable); consider the recession that began long before the recent presidential election and continues even now; consider the ‘same recent presidential election’ that set the political parties (aka, voters?) back milli-billions more dollars; consider that country’s offering of $550-plus-multiple-zeroes directed toward one (or maybe a few) individual(s) in that country’s lottery equivalent. It becomes so very garbled.

But OK, that’s my tongue-in-cheek summary of North American newspaper headlines.

Some of us, however, have much smaller budgets, which should constitute much smaller problems (but it doesn’t always work that way). They tend to dictate where we live and shop, what we eat, even which ‘luxuries’ we can indulge in (such as trying to decide who we can thank with small gifts, because some of us have disabilities that interrupt or limit many of our otherwise ‘good intentions’).

Have you ever had one of those days (or weeks, or months, or years) that seem to push you further and further behind? So much so that even the purchase of even a lottery ticket seems downright stupid, because — well, chances of winning are so minute, and hope ran away a long time ago.

On a recent afternoon, a friend and I had been lunching in Tim Hortons (the recently-renovated one at the west end of 67th Street), and we headed home to Bentley via Sylvan Lake. Until we indeed arrived in Sylvan, I didn’t realize that I’d left my wallet somewhere; and yes, Timmie’s was the last place I remembered carrying it. Along with my driver’s licence, bank ATM card, my health care card from Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped, and a few personal photos, etc., I had $120 in that wallet. That was the cash that I’d collected after selling an appliance ‘accessory’ the day before. And so I was certain that my 2012 Christmas shopping was finished before it ever started.

Following a hasty phone call to Tim Hortons (“Yes, there are two wallets here”), we made an abrupt about-face to return to that restaurant. I was so hopeful that — yes, that one of those wallets could be mine, and even if the finder had ‘permanently borrowed’ the money within — the driver’s licence and health care card still remained. Another yes: it was my wallet, complete with its untidy collection of licence, health benefits card, photos, and — yes again — $120.

With all of those squabbles people and businesses are presently having over how many millions/billions of dollars should be earned and/or given away in and by the economy’s ‘major leagues,’ still there was one very considerate and honest person in Red Deer that day: someone whose values set him or her far above the folk who control our country’s cash. He or she deserves a humungously-big “Thank you so much!!” for handing in my unopened wallet.

And wouldn’t you know it? His or her name was Anonymous. (OK, so it might have been Santa in disguise.)

But I surely hope I’m able to play it forward, regardless of the time of year or place of encounter. As Tiny Tim (his surname was likely Horton?) said, “Merry Christmas, every one!”

Colleen McNaught


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