Richard Taverna, a New York subway rider, found a blue Chanel bag Thursday morning in the station at Lincoln Center in Manhattan. He did the incredible, he actually intentionally looked in the purse, not to steal anything but to help the individual who had accidentally left it behind. He found a note in Russian and unfortunately there wasn’t any subway agent. He took the fancy Chanel bag home. There he discovered an envelope with 100 $100 bills in it. The temptation clearly was what could I do for Christmas with $10K?
Instead, Richard defied the finder’s keeper’s rule and actually went into the 20thPrecinct in Manhattan. The lady who had lost her purse had already been at the Precinct to report her bag had been lost on the subway. She was on her way to Russia when the unfortunate mishap occurred!
I know that one would hope that most people would do the right thing and take the fancy bag to the Police Department without any second thoughts. Yet, it’s possible that someone in grave need could see it as a divine gift that was placed on their lap to make Christmas special for their family. The amazing story is that Richard would view himself as a normal guy not some super hero. Yet, in today’s crazy world doing what’s right isn’t always at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts.
I know that as I have the good fortune to have grandkids, yes, I’m a grandpa, that I want all of them to know automatically that doing what’s right, honoring their parents and ultimately God is the only way to live. I know that it’s so easy for kids and even adults to be in a rush and not pay much attention to the grandma who is struggling to get through the door to a restaurant or needs help as we encountered getting their food tray to their table at a buffet. I would truly hope and pray that kindness would be on the minds of all especially during the Christmas season as we are reminded about the ONE who left behind his glory to become the baby in the stable not the fancy high end hotel.
Giving, self-sacrifice and seeing someone else’s need and doing something proactive instead of pretending to ignore is the ‘Spirit’ of Christmas. My hope is that more would start paying it forward and teach their kids and their grandkids that practicing kindness will transform their lives and the lives of those around them.
Here’s the opportunity, not just for the next week or so but the whole year, is to have your eyes open to see the circumstances of those around you. Be the neighborhood hero that picks up the trash instead of walking past it thinking that’s not my mess.