Wednesday 26 October 2016

Tune in to how people are basically good

Published 24/08/2015 | 02:30

My father went out to his car one morning and found that he had left it unlocked. He also found that he wasn't the first person to find it unlocked and while there had been no visible attempt to steal the car, someone had helped themselves to some of the contents. Amongst the items stolen was an old iPod, a model long since superseded but loaded up with years of tunes and, crucially, the only one that works with his car stereo. "Grrr", thought my Pa, nothing too valuable but a pain in the face nonetheless.

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A few days later he got a phone call. It was a man who had bought an iPod in a phone shop in central Dublin. He was calling because the original owner's contact details were still on the iPod and he just wanted to say how much he was enjoying the selection of music it contained. It was a really nice gesture, there was no need to do it, it was just a plain old, straight-up nice thing to do. And one much appreciated by my father. So it was with a little pang that he told this nice caller that the machine had in fact been stolen from him the week before.

Obviously the man knew nothing of the theft and said that although based down the country he'd be back in Dublin shortly and would happily return the iPod. My father said he didn't want the man to be out of pocket, especially not as a result of his lovely gesture, and that he'd buy it back because it was the only one that worked in his car. He also said that seeing as the caller liked the tunes so much he'd upload them for him.

A few days later the two men met. The iPod was returned - the going rate for one that old is about €20 so hopefully the thief got substantially less - the tunes were delivered and everyone was happy. The caller was a young man, an absolutely charming young man by all accounts, my mother went along to check him out, natch, and said it was his partner who had suggested he call to compliment the iPod curator on his choice of tunes. Nice call, nice outcome.

I'm chalking it up as further proof for my dogged belief that people are basically good.

Sunday Independent

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