Earlier this month Robert Adams of Arlington Heights, Illinois, was waiting to use an ATM machine when he discovered something you don’t often see: a clear plastic bag containing $20 and $100 bills resting beside the machine. He later learned that the sack contained a total of $17,000.
Following some research and a trip to a local Chase bank, it was determined that the bag belonged to the Loomis armored truck company.
Mr. Adams says he was never tempted to keep the lost treasure. “I don’t care if you put another zero on there, I wasn’t raised to take money that isn’t mine” he said. There’s some talk about him receiving a reward, but as of yet, he hasn’t.
We often read that we’re living in an age of sliding morals and virtue. And, indeed, it’s not difficult to find numerous examples of people behaving badly. So it’s particularly refreshing to read about a good, upstanding man doing a right and honorable thing.
It seems obvious that Mr. Adams’ parents raised him to know the difference between right and wrong. Tonight, I would encourage you to talk with your own kids, and share with them this uplifting story about virtue trumping vice. Remind them that as they do the right thing in the eyes of God, other people are watching and drawing conclusions. As the old saying goes, their life may be the only Bible some people read. Our ways serve as our witness, whether we realize it or not.
But let me ask you: Have you ever personally witnessed a similar act of integrity? Have you seen someone do the right thing, even if the wrong thing would have personally profited them? I’d like to hear about it. Here’s your chance to share about that quiet hero and laud them for their actions. And in doing so, you’ll be encouraging others to follow in their footsteps.
Late last night several news outlets reported that although Mr. Adams did, indeed, find and return the $17,000 in cash, he’s been charged with filing a false police report. In his initial interview with officials, Mr. Adams claimed to have found the money in Arlington Heights when, in fact, he found it in Midlothian, Illinois. Mr. Adams, a 54-year-old single man, was embarrassed to admit that he had taken a half day off from work to travel all the way to the suburban town in the hope of visiting with a much younger woman.
“I guess,” he said yesterday, “the lesson is, at some point, you have to tell the truth about everything.” The evolution of this story continues to be instructive. When it comes to truth, there are no shades of gray. Mr. Adams, who still did a very good thing by returning what wasn’t his, has now been keenly reminded of that fact.