I’m a big fan of irony, and I couldn’t help but notice how it followed me out of an elementary school assembly I was recently attending where my 4-year-old daughter was being honored as a student of the month in her preschool class.
The underlining theme of this event was loyalty, but educators also were recognizing all of the major virtues and positive behaviors that everyone is taught at a young and impressionable age, including respect, kindness, honesty, friendship, etc.
When it was my daughter’s turn to accept her award, I fumbled for my iPhone, which had been stashed in a loose-fitting pocket on one of those Mexican-style white shirts with embroidery that I had been wearing.
Included in that same pocket was a set of keys and a Post-It note wrapped around a $20 bill with a reminder to make change for a purchase later in the day for an item on Craigslist. The seller asked for exact change, which I didn’t have at the time.
Knowing I had money in that pocket, I double checked to see if it was there just 30 minutes or so before discovering on my way out of the assembly that suddenly it had disappeared. I walked back into the auditorium where the event was held in a panic, looking frantically for the $20.
Then I retraced my steps since the last time I remember seeing it on the school grounds and came up empty handed. I even spoke with some of my daughter’s preschool teachers and the office administrators, all of whom said no one came by to report any lost cash, but that they’d somehow get it to me if anyone was honest enough to turn in the money.
Feeling dejected, I decided to let go of my frustration, particularly since money is so tight for so many people these days (including myself), and chalk it up as a learning experience. Then, almost as if to soothe my soul, I thought about how ironic it was some lucky person at the school just didn’t get the message about the importance of virtues and how we should all aspire to behave a certain way no matter what age we happen to be.
I suppose you can’t put a price on lessons in morality or practicing virtues in the real world, but oh what a wonderful world this would be if we all were honest enough to turn in lost cash, which I realize is a total stretch for most individuals. Another realization was that being able to convey the irony of this experience to a few friends was almost worth the price I ended up paying for pocket disorganization.
Almost is the operative word. I’d rather have my $20 back!