THEME #7 – MORAL COMPASS
At this point, with $200 cash stuffed into my bulging wallet, I faced an interesting dilemma. A total stranger, a Black man, gave $200 cash to me, a White man, who he did not know.
What do I do with the $200? No one on the planet, other than the generous man, knows I was given the $200. It is effectively his word against mine. Do I keep the money for myself, rationalizing that being a volunteer food truck driver pays zero, or do I turn the cash over to my Nourish Pierce County supervisor?
I knew I could use the $200 because the very next day, Conan The Barbarian, officially known as Conan’s Drain Cleaning, LLC, was coming to my house to clean out my shower drain. The $200 would handle my $175.75 plumbing bill nicely. No one would ever know. No one! (Note: Should you have a plugged up plumbing system and you want to save money and enjoy an honest vendor, with an effective and efficient problem solving ability, try Conan’s Drain Cleaning, LLC. He saved a friend of mine something close to $5,000 just before another company was going to rip her off. Conan is an honest problem solver.)
You can see I have paid close attention to how most felons and Gypsies think. A felon or Gypsy with a $200 donation would believe it is their God-given right to rip off the Food Bank and the generous man who donated the $200. A con thinks of those two as suckers made to be skinned. (Note: I attended Gypsy con school taught by a Gypsy in the 1990s.)
While I am highly critical of the religious faith and church I was born into, I am eternally grateful for the moral compass the church gave me.
I arrived back at the Food Bank with a truckload of food and $200.
I had folded the money into a lumpy roll, so the thickness would not allow me to forget I had the cash donation. Because the money was in the form of a lumpy roll, it would not get confused with my personal cash.
My personal cash was, of course, stored in my wallet according to denomination starting with the $1 bill with all the portraits for men of history facing in one direction and according to ascending order by serial number. I used a steam iron on each bill to eliminate any unsightly creases. I could hardly wait to get the lumpy cash out of my wallet and into my supervisor’s hands. That is precisely what I did.
This integrity test reminds me of the time back in 1963 when I found a plain paper sack filled with $8,000 cash in the counting room of the Hi Ho Shopping Center in Puyallup. After counting my till, all I had to do was roll the sack up and stuff it under my shirt. That $8,000 was a lot of money in 1963, especially for a young 21-year-old college student with no money. Today, $8,000 is equivalent to $67,624.74.
My moral compass made it easy to do the right thing. I called my supervisor, Dick Appling, and explained I found $8,000 another employee had carelessly left behind.
Had I absconded with the $8,000 in 1963, my bad deed would have caught up with me 26 years later during my hiring process to become a Pierce County Deputy Sheriff.
I will never forget when the polygraph (lie detector) examiner, Mr. Van Victor, asked, “Joe, have you ever stolen anything from an employer? The needle would have twisted up into a knot and fallen off, followed by thick smoke billowing out of the black box, had I replied, does an $8,000 losers weepers, finders keepers windfall count?
Stealing $8,000 might have seemed like a good idea at the time for a person with a defective moral compass. It is easy to see that one stupid and felonious act could have cost me an incredible career. The loss of a job would have meant losing close to three million in salary, overtime, benefits, free training, sick leave, equipment, and retirement income.
Then there was the time back in 2013 when a middle-aged black woman in Mississippi forgot her purse with over $3,000 cash, which was intended to be her used car buying money.
I always do a head check before taking off on my Harley. I looked around and spotted the purse with thousands inside abandoned in the grocery buggy.
Then there was the day I was resting on a wood bench on the wood boardwalk in front of the leather shop in Oatman, Arizona, an old ghost town on Route 66. I spotted a ladies billfold with credit cards, passport from Canada, and $700 cash.
One time my Harley took me down to Big Bend National Park in Texas. While on the US side of the Rio Grande River with Mexico only 25’ away on the other shore, I found the wallet contents scattered on the beach belonging to a man from Chicago.
How about the time my pal Biff and I were around age 12? We found the contents from a safe-cracking job belonging to the ABC Amusement Company? We each were given a $25 reward and shared news coverage in the Seattle Times with presidential candidate, Dwight D. Eisenhower.
In each incident, I was able to rightfully reunite the victim with their property.
From an early age, I have had a special magnetic force that causes me to be attracted to lost or missing money and valuables.
Knowing my magic now causes my pals to wait and watch for me to find someone’s money as we cross the country on long distance motorcycle rides.
THEME #8 – YAA, THE WHITE MAN GAVE $200 TO HIS BOSS, WHICH LOOKS GOOD ON PAPER, BUT IS IT POSSIBLE THE BLACK MAN GAVE $400 INSTEAD OF $200 TO THE WHITE MAN?
An interesting read related to this theme is a letter published by the widely known writer and community activist, David Anderson, titled, Letter: Honesty, still the best policy. At least David is widely known in Tillicum.
You have to believe me. I subscribe to David Anderson’s concept, “Honesty is still the best policy.”
The Black man really did give me $200, and not a dollar more. Thinking about the Black man’s action and generosity moved me to match his donation by sending another $200 to Nourish Pierce County. The Black man’s generosity has now powered up, doubling his contribution to $400. I am not bragging. I am just leading by example.
If you would like to join a Black man and a White man regardless of your race, any donation, large or small, shall be graciously accepted by Nourish Pierce County to help feed the hungry among us.
Donate To Nourish Pierce County. Click on my LINK and then the big green dot at the top right to donate. There are several other ways to give, including meeting me at the back of the Food Bank truck with a stack of bills, like Ralf, oops.
If you are willing, send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me know you have joined a Black man and a White man who transcended the negative race relations we hear about daily. Actually we have one Black man, one White man, and one White woman. Half of my $200 donation belongs to my wife.
By operating from a mutually caring perspective instead of a negative racist perspective, a Black man and a White man were able to join forces to help the hungry. If you are willing to disclose the dollar amount of your donation, I can report on just how far one Black man’s generosity in donating $200 miraculously expanded. It has already doubled to $400. If you choose to remain anonymous, I promise to not clown around with your first name. If you prefer to help me lead by example, then let me know if printing your name in my report is okay with you.
Of the 8 Themes, my favorite is Theme #5, which tells the story of a wonderful man generously donating $200 cash to Nourish Pierce County. Thanks, Ralph or Ralf, whoever and wherever you are.
Oops, sorry I said your name Ralph, but I am so proud of you for being an exemplary human being.
As the big-time authors say,