What do you do when you get someone’s money?

It was Monday morning and I was pursuing the train deporting me downtown. The train leaves in 15 minutes and I happen to meet an old friend on my way. Our conversation lasted longer than it should and I missed the train.

This was not a bad thing because I arrived ahead of time. Not a bad start. No worries. Now, I had time to do what I would usually do if I’d arrive on time. So I went for a coffee and a croissant.

What happened next changed my perspective forever. I wasn’t prepared for whats coming next. This changed my perspective.

When I arrived at the ATM I noticed paper hanging out. There was money. I always wished money would grow on trees, but this is fine too. I stood in surprise and notices a woman walking away from the ATM.

This woman looked me and said she will just use some other ATM because she didn’t want a part in it. I knew there was one ATM but far enough that I’d miss my train. She explained the money was from a man that just left in a silver car. It was all very strange. And my attention was up.

Staring at the money I was thinking what every rational person would think, I’m going to take it and buy borovnička shots with it.

1 meter of boronic is 8 € and for 100 € you get 10 and still some room for the bang.

I promised myself to always come up for counter arguments for my decisions just to practice my rhetoric. And it was also my moral that was holding me back from bad behaviour.

It crossed my mind, that a candid camera could be around somewhere, because who forgets the money like this right? I gazed around and saw no camera. I became nervous.

Yea, who forgets the money? You have to be super nervous, drunk or high, right?

Even if I take the money and run with it, It will hunt me down. I’d bring bad karma to myself.

Memories brought me into a conversation I had with a friend. It was this guy who had it wrong. He was on bad relations with everyone and that got him to a bad place. He was on probation now-now and some time ago police were chasing him for his crimes. I could say his karma got him there.

I know karma is not the usual topic here. I know karma is not like a vending machine. You cannot pass coins in it and expect to get a price right away.

Karma works on good deeds. You insert one, and nothing happens. Don’t worry it’s not broken, it just works that way. You can expect results in a week, a year, in 5 years you don’t know when.. But, it’s there for you. Waiting. and it’s going to surprise you.

I was still in front of the machine and staring money in my hand. I decided to take it to the nearest store where the guy could get it back. I would do the same if I was the guy.

I withdrew some more for myself and headed to the store saw a man passing by. He had this evil eyes you see from villains in movies. I got the feeling I did something unforgettable and just wanted to get away form there. I knew this was the poor guy because he was intensely looking around the ATM. I approached him and gave him the money back. Of course I made sure it was his.

So here you go I said, expecting nothing in return. I was a bit sad but also relieved at the same time. I started to walk away when this guy pulled me. I saw how his anger dissolved into content. To my surprise, he decided to reward me with half of the return.

He didn’t lose his money and I received a prize. We were clinking our borovnička shots at solace of that week. Cheers. To better relations and good karma.

This story was told at a speech contest at Toastmasters Marathon. It won me second place at the podium. 🎉 🥈
That day, being full of surprises, I learned a lesson. Perhaps personal stories work best in a competition, especially ones that portray the speaker vulnerable.
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