I remember my dream from last night.
It was one of those dreams where you are outside looking in; where you know it is a dream from the outset and you are observing yourself. It was an out of body experience, as if I were watching myself on T.V.
In the dream, as in real life, we need money. In the dream, as in real life, we are living on the razor’s edge. In the dream, as in real life, we are only one crisis away from having nothing. In the dream, as in real life, that one crisis always arises, at the worst time.
I saw my wife and I sitting around the table, talking to friends about what to do, gathering advice. There was extended family present too. But, after a short while, it was just the two of us and our closest of friends: our inner circle.
It was before this group that my wife took out what she found earlier that day: $5,000 cash.
There was silence before she spoke.
“I don’t know what to do. What should we do with this money? I found it…which means someone also lost it.”
Our friends took their time with their opinions. Some were more long-winded than others. I remember the feeling of euphoria at the thought of all the debts we could pay with that kind of money, of the peace that must come when you can pay all your monthly bills on time and with ease, of the joy that must be felt when you can put aside a small savings. Most of our friends, maybe all of them, recommended that we keep the money. They made convincing arguments about how we would not be able to find the rightful owner, or that the owner was a corporation that already took this as a loss on its books and moved on, or that this was God’s providence working in our lives.
For some reason, every argument felt metallic and hollow.
When we were alone, my wife and I decided we would make a family decision. We would include our young son in the decision, because he could understand the concept of being surprised. He also understood the idea of property…and of sharing.
So, we brought the dilemma before this young judge. I remember being confident that he would decide we should keep it. All we would need to tell him is that we could buy some Star Wars Legos, right?
We sat at the table with the the money in front of us. My wife told our son the story of how she found the money and what it represents. She also explained our dilemma in a way he could readily grasp.
Our boy was swift in his judgment, “We should give it back to the lady who lost it.”
Why he was confident that the owner was a “lady” and not a drug dealer or a high roller, I dunno.
Like magic – as soon as we agreed with our son that his call was the right thing to do, what we would do – I awoke.
Seconds after, with the dream still crystal clear, it dawned on me: had we kept the money, we would been in league with mean, ol’ Potter from IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE.
Instead, our son allowed us to stay in company with George and Mary Bailey.
Encourage others to STAY BAILEY… Share these jpegs or create your own…
“A fellow said we must never forget that we are human. And as humans, we must dream, and when we dream, we dream of money.”
George in THE SPANISH PRISONER by David Mamet