Something shiny caught my eye. I look down on the bench I’m sitting on. A ring. I pick it up to look at it. It’s not a very expensive ring, but it obviously meant something to someone. I’m alone in the gym. I put the ring back down on the bench, hoping that who lost it will come back. If she doesn’t by the time I leave, I can go to the lost and found. I throw my clothes in my locker and go to the mirror to comb my wet hair.
In the mirror I can see behind me. I am able to keep an eye on my stuff and books. A young man walks into the gym. Maybe he’s the one the ring belongs to. Yes, he’s going down my locker row. No, he’s passing the spot where the ring is. Wait, he sees it. It seems like the ring has caught his eye too. He stops and sits down next to the ring. He starts to open a book to read. I say to myself that I’m too suspicious, He’s not going to take the ring.
But he does. He looks down at the ring and then puts his towel on top of it. I watch him out of the corner of my eye for a few seconds I then look through my locker for my watch. When I look up agains he’s gone. I look around the floor, under the bench, and around my books. The ring is nowhere to be found. Neither is the young man.
I should have put the ring in my locker. But what if the owner came back and accused me of stealing? I am angry with myself, bul I am furious with that young man. How could he do it? I start to make excuses for him to lessen my anger. Maybe he needed the ring. Maybe he thought of that old childhood rhyme “Finders keepers, losers weepers”.
Bul who really wins when some people take that attitude? Some think its alright to keep the change that the pay phone or vending machine accidently gives you when the correct change is inserted. Some think it’s alright to keep the few dollars that the supermarket cashier gives them by mistake. Some think that when the total on their restaurant check is less than it really is, they shouldn’t tell the cashier. To these people it’s excusable, even acceptable to steal”. It’s no different to keep the change” than to ‘find” a ring on a bench.
Before this incident I kept the change on a few occasions. But because of what that young man did, I saw a difference between what I used to do and what he did. The difference, to me, is non-existent.
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