I’m sure many of you that read/watch the news have been following a now international story of a homeless man that returned a woman’s diamond wedding ring when she accidentally put it in his collection cup (he probably thought it was the best day of his life, only to soon realize his days were going to get a lot better).
The story goes that Sarah Darling from Kansas City, MO, had taken off her ring as it was giving her a rash and put it in the inside pocket of her purse. Later when she came across a homeless man, named Billy Ray Harris, she inadvertently put the ring in his cup along with some change. It wasn’t until the next day when she realized her ring was gone that she returned to where Billy Ray was living on the street, to ask him about the ring. He replied that he indeed had it and was saving it for her upon her return.
Obviously Ms. Darling (such an ironic name for this story) was so blown away by Billy Ray’s honesty that she and her husband started an online fundraiser to show their appreciation for his incredible gesture. Brace yourself, to date, as I write this, the site has collected $142,000. Yes you read that right. Donations have been pouring in from all over the world and what’s more, there are more than 90 days to go on the site and at the end of this, Billy Ray could be looking at, well, a BOATLOAD of money and a major lifestyle change.
I think the most incredible - and poignant - part of all of this is what Billy Ray Harris said himself about the incident: "What has the world come to when a person who returns something that doesn't belong to him and all this happens?'" Truly the man couldn’t have come up with a more profound statement about the human condition. What indeed has it come to when we as humans are so blown away by someone simply being honest and trustworthy? I mean, that is beyond sad and depressing. Furthermore, and don’t get me wrong here, I think it’s incredible so many people are giving to Mr. Harris and I hope it turns his life around, but shouldn’t we all be giving to those in need in the first place without an action to precipitate things? Unfortunately in today's fast paced and selfish landscape, things do not work like that anymore.
I guess all we can do now is truly commend those who are at least trying to do good in a world when many of us are making the wrong choices and forgetting we operate as a collective. Here's to you Billy Ray. Spend it wisely.