Thursday, August 30, 2012

One Time God Gave Me ¥400,000! (About $4,000!)

About 14 years ago or so, I was doing a very late night radio show and I would arrive home at about 2:30 ~ 3:00 am every night.

One night, when I got to my apartment, there was a bunch of trash on the street. I thought it must have been there from my oldest daughter (who was often making trouble with her wild friends) and was worried that the apartment attendant would complain so I began picking up the trash.

There was a lot of bags from McDonald's and empty drinks and french fries, hamburger wrappings.

Anyway, when I just about finished up cleaning, there was also an envelope on the street so I picked it up. When I did, I knew it felt different. I opened it and inside there was forty brand new ¥10,000 bills, in serial number order, inside of it. The envelope was plain and had no names or addresses or anything on it.

"Wow! I'm rich!" I thought.

While I was dreaming of all the bad things I could do with that money, I ran upstairs and told my wife Yuka, who was sound asleep that I had found a bunch of money. I asked her what I should do with it. She said, "I don't care. Do what you want!"

I started dreaming of drinking, gambling, prostitution... all those stupid things stupid guys do with their money. Then I went to sleep.

The next morning when I woke up, my wife and kids were already awake and my eldest daughter said, "Daddy! Give me ¥50,000!" I said, "Why?" She said, "Because you found that money!"

I then realized that the money might be a curse. I started thinking about it.

As a parent, you always teach your children to be honest and to do what's right. How could I say that and then keep the money? That would make me look like a hypocrite. And what about that money? What if it were alimony or child support payments for some poor mother with small children whose husband ran away? What if that money was needed by some handicapped or old person? No! I couldn't keep it.

I had to do what was right. I had to do what I told my children to always do. I had to be honest.

Later that day, I took the money to the police station and told them the story. They couldn't believe it. The envelope didn't have any writing on it at all. They said most people would just keep the money. But I told them about how I was worried that the money was intended for some poor mother with starving children or a handicapped or old person who really needs it.

They said, "You are an honest man!"

I said, "I'm not that honest... I thought about keeping the money at first."

Anyway, I gave the police the money and they told me that they would look for the owner and if someone didn't claim it, they'd let me know and I could keep the money.

I thought, "Sure! In America, you can bet that the police would surely "find" someone to take the money for you." I knew I'd never see the money again and I forgot about it....

Well, six months later, I came home and my wife was smiling brightly. She told me that a postcard had come from the police and that no one had claimed the money and to come to the police station and they'd give the money back to me."

"Wow! Japan is a wonderful country!" I thought.

When we went to get the money. The policeman handed it to me and then, of course, I immediately handed it all over to my wife.....

I felt good about myself. Not only had I done what's right, but I got to keep the money too! See? There is a god!

Later that night, I was going to work again and thinking about how lucky I am. As I was walking along, I saw this very old catholic sister carrying two cases of beer. I thought it was strange to see a catholic sister carrying beer. I wanted to take her picture. I stopped and told her that I would carry the beer for her. She was so happy.

So I took the cases of beer and carried them across the crosswalk and down the street toward a car where another sister was waiting.

Man! Those cases of beer were heavy and that old catholic sister looked like she was about 40 kilograms and 80-years old. "How in the heck did that old frail lady carry those beers?" I wondered.

When we finally got to the car, the two sisters were very grateful and invited me to their party at their church. I declined. I had to go to work and I couldn't imagine me at a party with a bunch of catholic sisters. I would be like Satan hanging around a kindergarten class of little children. No way.

I said goodbye to the sisters and turned back to walk back to the train station. 

By helping the sisters, I went out of my way for about 4 minutes. As I walked towards the station, there was an intersection with about thirty people waiting to cross the street. They were all about 20 meters in front of me when the light turned green and they all crossed. I walked behind them and when I was halfway across the crosswalk, I was shocked to find a ¥10,000 bill just laying in the crosswalk. Everyone had walked right over it and stepped on it and yet no one saw it!? I couldn't believe it. I picked it up.

If I hadn't helped the catholic sisters and gone out of my way, then I would have never seen that ¥10,000!


Not only had I gotten back the ¥400,000 yen earlier than day, then I did a kind deed for some of god's secretaries and was rewarded again by finding ¥10,000.

This is a true story and I have had a few experiences like this in my life.

It proves to me that: I am a lucky person and that there is a "god" or some sort of "grace"; and, of course, always doing what is right has its own rewards.

NOTE: What happened to the last ¥10,000 I asked my wife if I should take the last ¥10,000 I found to the police. She said, "No! Because it is not in a wrapper and is naked money. And if I go there and say that so soon, they might think that I am some insane foreigner who keeps trying to give away money or that I like talking to the police... So I kept it. 


Marc Sheffner said...

But, but, but... you didn't take the 10,000 yen to the police. You hypocrite!! ;-)

Andrew Joseph said...

That's cool. It's god, karma, or good luck.
I often wonder how anyone can be that careless with that kind of money. I find pennies, quarters et al... usually you just have to look down near the cash registers... people drop money all the time... and I guess I naturally walk about with my eyes peeled for women, people needing help and money. I've helped many a person carry a baby carriage up and down subway steps here in Toronto and no one has ever offered me anything but thanks. But that's cool. Thanks are a great reward... not as good as all that money, but still good. My dad told me once about how my mom was pregnant with me back in London... 8+ months... standing on a shaky train... and no one gave her a seat. He never said I should give up my seat, but I knew that was the lesson. I was 5 when he told me that. Somethings you never forget... like this great story of yours.