What if you found a wallet on the street? Would you bother returning it? Would the amount in the wallet affect your decision to return it or not?
These kinds of questions have been in researchers’ minds for a long time and, a couple of years ago, a study on the subject was published in Science magazine, shedding light on them.
A group of scientists set up an experiment aiming at figuring out whether people are likely to return lost wallets or not.
The experiment was repeated in many different countries around the world and the results are interesting- to say the least.
Unlike what most of us would expect, people were more likely to return a wallet with more money in it than with less. Scientists believe that this has to do with positive self-image.
The more the money, the more they felt guilty in case they took it.
Also, the presence of personal items like keys in the wallet affected the final decision.
“Placing a house key in lost wallets increased the rate of return overall. This simple inclusion may have helped people see the anonymous wallet owner as a real person with ties to the community,” experts say.
But what if you don’t even know what there is inside the wallet? Would you still care to return it?
A Tampa man named Moses felt he had to return the wallet he found lying near a car in a driveway, although he had no idea how much money there was inside- if there was any.
As you can see in the video below, a man rings the bell of a Tampa house. The homeowner is notified through the Ring bell application and he answers it.
“How can I help?” asks Matthew Easterly, owner of the house through the surveillance system.
The man replies that he has come to return a wallet he found on the driveway, outside a car, next to the driver’s door.
Easterly sounds surprised on the video. He’s certainly taken aback by the kindness of this stranger who went out of his way to do the right thing.
As he explained afterwards, Easterly was the owner of the house, but he did not live there. The tenants that were supposed to be inside were probably sleeping, so he asked the kind stranger to leave the wallet on the doorstep. Then, Easterly himself would call the tenants and make sure they answered the door later on.
“If you don’t mind just leave it right down there at the bottom of the doorstep, and I will call them and ask them to answer the door, OK?” he said.
The Good Samaritan was perfectly fine with that. Indeed, he placed the wallet on the doorstep and was about to leave, when the owner asked to know his name.
When the man said his name was Moses, Easterly thanked him. Then, as Moses was leaving, Easterly praised his kindness one more time.
“Thank you, Moses. Not many people out there are like you, buddy,” he said.
This beautiful moment between the two strangers is a reminder that there are still honest people out there, we just need to keep our eyes open and spot them.
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