Terrible news abounds lately. You can feel unbelievably fortunate to not be a victim of it, compelled to share it and talk about it, and still yearn for some brightness amongst all the gloom. Random acts of kindness remind us that there is still a lot of hope in the world — and should be celebrated.
A California man posted a story to his Facebook page about stumbling across some money at the ATM. What unfolded after he found it is nothing short of beautiful.
Bobby Puryear went through the drive-thru ATM at his bank last week. As he was putting his card in, he noticed that there was money still in the ATM: someone had forgotten to take their withdrawal. He reached down and took it — it was $500.
He drove around to the bank and took it inside to tell one of the bank tellers what happened. She refused to take the money and called a manager over who said, “Well, what do you expect me to do with it?” Puryear asked if there was a way that they could see who had visited the ATM before him. The manager asked him to leave his name and number.
It turns out a 92-year-old woman named Edith was taking the money out for her rent. The manager contacted Puryear on a three-way call with Edith on the line. She told Puryear her rent was $480 and she wanted to give him the $20 that was left for a reward. She then mentioned that it was all the money she had for the rest of the month. Puryear told her “absolutely not” and to have a great day. Then he began to really think about what she said; that she only had $20 to last her through the rest of the month. He called the bank and told them to transfer $200 from his account to hers. A co-worker heard what he was doing and added another $100. An hour later the bank manager called and told Puryear that the tellers in the bank pooled together and donated another $300.
Edith went from possibly losing $500 that day to having strangers deposit $600 into her account.
One good deed spiraled into another, which spiraled into several more. That’s how kindness works — it’s contagious. It’s just as contagious as hate, but more powerful. So next time you think there is nothing you can do to make the world a little brighter, just open your eyes and actually see the “strangers” around you. There is always an opportunity to be kind — even if it doesn’t end in a landslide of cash.
The post has been shared over 173,000 times since Puryear wrote it. He says in a comment under it:
“I think we all just need to help each other, if everybody would help each other we we wouldn’t have all the hate and problems we have now, just be kind and help one another, it’s not hard and its very rewarding and it just makes you feel good.”