We all make mistakes, but being able to admit when we are wrong provides an important life lesson.
It was a Monday morning when Bill Hargis was working at his music store, The Music Tree in Richmond, Virginia when a customer purchased an $8 tambourine. During the transaction, Bill briefly turned his back on the man. That’s when the customer leaned over the counter and swiped Bill’s cell phone.
It gets worse. Security footage shows that when Bill turned away a second time, the thief grabbed an expensive clarinet that had been sitting on a stool. He carefully placed the instrument on the ground, then hid it behind his bag as he left the store.
Bill was devastated by the theft. The stolen clarinet had belonged to a customer who’d owned it for 22 years. It had been a gift from his grandfather back when he was just a teenager, so it held a lot of sentimental value. The man was absolutely crushed to hear it had been stolen, and Bill vowed to do whatever he could to get it back.
Later that day, the Richmond Police Department shared video footage of the theft, imploring the public to come forward with any information. Those efforts turned out to be unnecessary, however. The next morning, Bill’s security camera picked up another interesting bit of footage. The thief had brought the clarinet and phone back, placing it gently outside the shop’s door before slipping away. Not only that, but he’d left a note.
“Please forgive … I have been victimized myself,” the note read. “My bills are piling up … my wife’s mobility is close to nothing … I’m struggling but this doesn’t give me the right to victimize anyone … I’m sorry … I wouldn’t want to happen to me … shamefully I am to my grave.”
The note also included an anonymous quote that said: “I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good thing, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
While delighted to have his stolen items returned to their rightful owner, Bill admitted that the note left him feeling hollow.
“It was sad,” Bill said. “He felt regretful… He’s bringing (the stolen items) back because he felt guilty about it. There’s hope for people if they do that. I feel that maybe there’s hope for him.”
This man made a mistake, but he was courageous enough to admit it and try to fix it. We’re all learning as we go, after all! We’re happy he made the right choice in the end.
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