I meant to write about this before, but the week went by in a complete blur. Anyway, last Sunday I headed to the coffee place the next little town over to get some grading done. I go there fairly often because it has the right white noise atmosphere that helps me get work done, a combination of big band/jazz music and human conversation. Plus they have delicious pastries. I did some grading, left, and as I walked through the parking lot, I found $12 in the snow. I looked around and didn't see anyone, thought about it for a minute, and made a decision: Walking back into the coffee shop, I put $2 in the tip jar and handed the $10 to the barista behind the counter, asking him to pay for the next person's coffee. I could've kept it for myself, but I figured since the thought crossed my mind to give it to someone else, I should. I have no idea if coffee boy simply pocketed it or did a good deed; I at least made an attempt to pay it forward.
Upon getting ready for work the next day, I realized I couldn't find one of my homework folders, filled with assignments my one class period had turned in. When I got home, I planned to ransack the house to find it even though I'd already looked once. As I got ready to go home at the end of the day, I received a call from the front office saying someone from the coffee house had found a folder of mine and they had it waiting for me. It turns out I'd left it there (pregnancy brain or just me? probably a combination of both...) and an out-of-work music teacher who works there as a barista had spotted it in the lost and found. Fortunately, she realized it belonged to a teacher and actually called two schools before calling mine to see if a Mrs. Frau who taught ninth grade worked there. I discovered this when I went back to get it and fell all over myself thanking this young woman that she'd taken such time and effort to make sure I got my materials back. She truly saved me a lot of agony in that simple yet significant act.
Would I have gotten the folder back had I not given up that $12? I don't know. I hope so, but I prefer to look at it as one good act begetting another. The entire cycle of events gave me a nice boost of faith in the importance of doing good for others, no matter how small.