Friday, May 20, 2011

Example of Integrity: Family Finds $45,000 and Returns It

It's been a busy day so far at work, and I also haven't been able to find anything worthwhile to blog about. But I came across this article an hour ago, which I think is an awesome display of integrity.

The story is basically about a middle-class family finding $45,000 in cash hidden in the attic of their new home. They quickly concluded that the previous owner must have stowed away the money for his children, so they contacted the said children and forwarded them all their findings. This is quite an amazing feat. Just think for a minute -- what would you do if you were in their position? Use the money to buy new furniture, a new car perhaps?

I don't believe it would have been difficult for the family to rationalize their finding and end up keeping it. In the context provided by the article, this family just purchased the house and we can presume are cash-rich as otherwise. The husband, named Josh Ferrin, even admitted that he thought about spending it on things like fixing up his car or house renovations. But he reached a decision with his wife that the money should be returned, as it did not belong to them. As a father, he reasoned that the previous owner saved the money in order to pass on for his own children -- something he could identify with. It's also interesting on the previous owner did not think about revealing his stash of cash to other family members (before he passed away).

Josh Ferrin's actions absolutely deserve applause, perhaps even a standing ovation. I will not go as far as making ridiculous statements like "his actions have restored my faith in humanity" (like other commenters), but it both very commendable and model behavior for everyone to follow. His gesture is more impressive as he had already purchased the property, which made him effective owner of anything inside the house. The money was his to keep and spend. Yet he chose to give it back. Bravo!

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