Faith in honesty

I have faith in people’s honest which I learned when I was visiting with relatives many years ago, They had a friend of them visiting and she was getting married. It was such a privilege to be part of her anticipation, to share the joy of someone’s life changing. They had booked a wedding reception at the best hotel the day after, and we were invited to join a breakfast with the best of her friends.

We all went out for a southern breakfast and I learned that grits are not for me but it didn’t matter much with such a joyful company. I only remember the cheerfulness that lasted until we were about to pay. That’s when the bride to be realized that her wallet was missing. The woe was not just the money lost, it wasn’t that she didn’t have her driver’s license, but in that wallet was her wedding ring. The ring was very special, it was a heirloom from the groom’s family, and she had just been at the jeweler to have it modified. I will never forget how she went from being the happiest bride to be, to something close to a mourning widow in just an instant. She went and called her mother and came back a changed woman. Someone had called her family and told that they had found her wallet at a gas station (note to self: never leave your wallet on the roof of a car).

Afterwards what amazes me mostly is not how it had happened but the surprise in everyone. How can anyone be so honest? I was not surprised and realized that I, and most of the people I know would have done exactly the same: We would try our best to get hold of the person who has lost their possessions. I actually have faith in honest people. Most people do not keep a wallet that they find. That faith lasted until I lost my wallet and I realized that someone kept it for themselves.

not even sparrows —
squabbling at the windowsill
notice falling stars

Thou shalt not steal by John Singer Sargent

Today Mish hosts the Haibun Monday at dVerse and want’s us to write about faith. As I’m not overly religious I prefer to write about my faith in humans. I actually believe that most people wants to do their best.

April 2, 2018

30 responses to “Faith in honesty

  1. I love hearing stories like this and I too have faith in the honesty of people. A strong haibun, Bjorn, with a stunning haiku!

  2. I’ve lost things I left on the roof of a car, but they were not as important as that wallet. For what it’s worth, grits aren’t my favorite either.

  3. It is always surprising to me too when people are so shocked that an item is returned. We should be more shocked when it isn’t. I really enjoyed reading this story. I’ve left a camera on top of my car……twice. A little scuffed up, but ok.

  4. Two sides of a coin and you’ve captured them both perfectly her. I felt a little sick when I got to the bit about her loosing the ring. I’m getting married in June and it played straight into my fear of something big going wrong on the day and loosing something of such importance. So relieved to hear she got it back.

    • I have to say I have never seen anyone so devastated and then overwhelmed with relief with joy as that girl… I hope all goes well for you (and don’t leave the wallet on the roof of your car)

  5. I think that’s a perfectly acceptable take on faith, Björn. I’m not sure where my own faith in other people falls, but I think it’s in line with my view on most things. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I enjoyed the story, and this last little bit was beautiful
    “not even sparrows —
    squabbling at the windowsill
    notice falling stars”

    • I think I learned a lot from that story… when I asked people afterwards how many who would have kept the wallet I came up with zero… still we see it as a wonder when we get it back… amazing.

  6. I do think we all are doing the best we can, with what we have at the time. Those who could be doing better, most need the gift of kindness. Love this, Bjorn. It also speaks to the varying importance we give to things.

  7. Great haibun Bjorn, I like how you so clearly covered the joy to grief and then joy topped with your own grief at losing your wallet.

    • I really never grieved but I was pretty annoyed… especially when I got the confirmation that I would not get it back when I noticed that someone had used my bus-card… They never managed to do anything else.

  8. A wonderful story on faith in humanity and the kind of honesty that I believe is still there, certainly among our generation. The closing haiku is gorgeous too :o)

  9. I love this story, and I would like to think that most people are honest, but I fear it’s not so. I hope that the person who did not return your wallet was desperate.

  10. I wish that such stories would not surprise anyone, that in the future this shall become the norm ’cause it is only normal to act this way. Our surprise is not normal but it’s a reaction to the abnormal world around.

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