Twenty Dollar Bill

One day, when I was 8 years old, I found a twenty dollar bill on a city bus. My Grandmother’s house, where I spent more than a few days every week, was at the beginning of a bus route. It was not uncommon, when boarding the bus, I was the only one on. That day, I had just boarded and paid my fare and, on the way to seeking out my usual seat, I saw it. As I remember it, it was the most money I had ever held in my hand at the time. I was, at least for a few seconds, somewhat in awe of it.

Even still, I knew what to do. I walked back up the aisle to the Driver, stretched out my arm with bill firmly grasped betwixt my fingers and said, “Excuse me, mister. I think someone lost this”

The Driver looked down at it, smiled, and said, “That’s very honorable of you kid. But, you know, all money looks the same. I have a lot of people on each ride. Even if I wanted to, there’s no way I could find out who’s it is… Go ahead and keep it. It’s yours now.”

I stood there, a little stunned.

“Go ahead kid. Really, it’s yours.”

I walked back to my seat solemnly. Of course, my first thoughts were to what I could do with that much money. The candy I could buy. The toys. The comics.

Then, not much more than a moment later, I started to think about what the person who lost it was going to do with that money before they lost it. Maybe they really needed it. Maybe it was a single mom, like mine, struggling to make ends meet. To whom twenty dollars represented two days worth of food (perhaps even three if you stretched it right).

Yes, eight year old me really did think about such things because I lived them. I thought about those things because my Grandmother, the daughter of a preacher and sister of a bishop, taught me that is how you treat people – the way you would want to be treated. And, if I lost a twenty, I would want someone to find me, by what ever means necessary, and give it back.

It was a very long time before I broke down and finally spent that twenty. I still feel guilty about it to this day.

In case you had not heard, it was a very sad day on the internet today. I won’t go into details or link to any of them because, to repeat them, in my mind, would make me just as guilty. Suffice to say that someone lost something important, someone else found it, that someone then sold it to another party that decided to not only plaster it all over the internet, but also name and shame the person who lost it. Potentially destroying his name and career for good…

Not what we believe in (and if you do believe in such a thing, please stop reading, unsubscribe, and never return. Seriously.)

I don’t pretend to be a journalist. I have never been invited to any event and provided with credentials that may label me as such. I don’t consider what I do here “blogging” and, therefore, for these purposes, I’m not a blogger. I only recently had to admit to being a writer because of a gig I was honored to be asked to do (and, thankfully to the reader, that gig comes with an Editor).

The role I perform here, and the title I assume is “Curator”. I want to find interesting items that fall under a specific topic area and gather them together with some commentary that will hopefully provide both interest and context and cause you to investigate further. Sometimes, and only sometimes, those items may be original to this site.

That said, here is my pledge to you:

  1. Anything I provide here I will have found through only the most ethical means and with great care and concern for my visitors time and attention.
  2. There is nothing more important than item No. 1.

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