Searching For Honesty

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I used to be naive. When I was young, I trusted everyone.

Then I grew older. I was blindsided by a couple of people I trusted.

I think I began to change after that.

I became disillusioned.

I didn't believe everything that came out of a person's mouth.

I doubted some news stories I heard on television and on the Internet.

I became like Diogenes, the Greek philosopher who spent his days walking the streets of Athens, with a lighted lantern, looking for an honest man.

It is said he never found one. Diogenes was a Cynic who exposed the lies and selfishness of man. He believed that riches and honor were of little worth in helping a man live a virtuous life. He carried this view to extremes in his own life.

It is said he lived in a large tub and was a friend of dogs.

Unlike Diogenes, my faith in mankind is being restored. First through friends I've learned to believe in.

But more recently, a small incident bolstered my belief in the honest man even more.

It started at a Walmart store.

I became distracted and left my purse in a shopping cart in a Walmart parking lot.

It was a busy busy day at the store.

When I discovered the purse was missing, I made a frantic run back to the store to try to retrieve my purse.

It wasn't in any of the shopping carts in the area where I had parked my car.

I went inside, expecting the worse, and went to the information desk.

I was asked to describe the purse, to identify myself.

Yes, my purse was there, all the contents intact.

Someone had turned it in.

That gave me a warm feeling inside. And a warm feeling for the person who found the purse.

There was at least one honest person in this world.

Then one Saturday at the Homecoming celebration in Qulin, Mo., I lost my new watch.

It didn't cost that much but I certainly didn't want to lose it.

I went to the lady who was taking money for the Lion's Club noon meal.

I told her I had lost my watch.

She reached into her pocketed apron and pulled my watch from a pocket.

"Here it is," she said. "Someone turned it in."

Again, my faith in mankind grew stronger.

Another lady in Piggott told me about losing her purse in a J.C. Penney's Store in Jonesboro.

She was beside herself (that's what people say around here) and called the store later that day. She described her purse and asked if anyone had turned it in to lost and found.

"Yes," they had her purse, they said,.

The next day her husband drove to Jonesboro and retrieved the purse.

Nothing was missing. Some anonymous person had turned it in.

Now doesn't that restore your faith in people just a bit.

It did mine.

Maybe one day, I won't be a doubting Diogenes.

It's still a wise policy not to believe everything you see, read or hear.

Not everything.

But honesty is still out there.

You just have to hold the lantern high.