December 9, 2010

Facebook helps pay it forward

Everyone "likes" a good deed

Barb and I spent an amazing weekend in New York last month. We saw a lot of shows, including one at Carnegie Hall. Later, while enjoying dinner across the street, we realized our camera had slipped out of Barb’s purse while we were watching the show. We called Carnegie Hall and they told us they’d keep an eye out for it. We called again the next morning, but no luck. So we told ourselves, eh, it was an old camera and we wanted a new one anyway.

Cut to several days later. I receive a message on Facebook from someone I don’t recognize: “…my husband works at Carnegie Hall and recently found a camera. While scrolling through the photos I noticed that there were photos from a baptism. As luck would have it someone took a photo of the certificate listing the parents’ names and Godparents’ names. That is where you come in, you are the Godfather at this baptism.”

Now, I may appear to be a crusty old curmudgeon on the surface, but most people know I’m pretty mushy underneath. It blew my mind that someone would go to the trouble of reaching out to a stranger to return an item she could’ve easily kept. And how cool is it that she found me on Facebook? Finally, social media has been put to good use! I replied that Barb and I were incredibly grateful for her honesty and generosity and wanted to compensate her for the postage. I’m holding the note she enclosed with the camera: “No need to reimburse me. I am just happy to return it to its rightful owner. You can pay it forward…do something nice for a stranger! Enjoy your holidays!”

So Facebook has redeemed itself in this grump’s eyes for having some social value. More important, the human race may have some hope after all.