MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Columns

August 28, 2010

Is YOUR character showing?

Recently, after unloading our Walmart purchases into our van, my purse was accidentally left in the shopping cart. Not realizing this until we got home, I called the store’s customer service department to alert them and immediately headed back to see if I could find it, perhaps still in the cart return in the parking lot. By the time I got there, some “good Samaritan” had already turned it in at the Walmart office.

To my immense relief, everything was left undisturbed. I tried to find out who had turned it in — I wanted to express my gratefulness to this wonderful person. The employees of Walmart could only described my guardian angel as a “nice young man” — unfortunately, they did not get his name. Thankfully, I know that God knows who he is and I am assured that his kind deed will be repaid because “you reap what you sow.”

This is not the first time that a story such as mine has been told. There have been several articles in the Phoenix lately about similar situations. A Burger King employee, Tiffany Stopp, recently found an envelope containing money on the floor and turned it in. The rightful owner, Charlotte Benson was thrilled to recover the $45 she was going to use to purchase a new bed to sleep on.

A recent Hilldale High School graduate named R.J. Eastwood wrote a letter to the editor to publicly thank the “kind stranger” who had flagged down a police officer on the street to turn in Eastwood’s cash-filled wallet that had been found. All the money was still inside. Eastwood wrote “With all the ugly news reports about Muskogee this year, I wanted everyone to know there are still good, honest people in this town and I am sincerely thankful for that. My faith in humanity has been restored.”

When this story was read by Sandra Scarlett of Muskogee, it prompted her to write a letter to the newspaper recalling her encounter with a “Good Samaritan” returning her purse (also left in a shopping cart in the Walmart parking lot).

Character is who you are and what you do when no one is watching.

These four instances are really only the “tip of the iceberg” — everyday we run across people, who do the right thing. With life’s hectic pace, we may not often stop to realize it. Perhaps it’s time to take a look around us and recognize good deeds that show positive character. When was the last time you noticed someone exhibiting integrity or initiative or compassion?

The Character Council of Muskogee is encouraging anyone who witnessess someone doing the right thing to report this “Random Act of Character” on their Facebook page. By doing so, others will be more likely to notice something similar and it could spread all across our community.

To learn more about the Character Council of Muskogee go to its website: okiecharacter.org

Becky Faught serves on the Board of Directors for the Character Council of Muskogee. The Council's goal is to help create a community culture that encourages, develops, and commends good character in the individuals, families, faith organizations, schools, businesses, and government of our community.

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