One man may be a thief -- but he has one hell of a conscience. A man suffered with a guilty conscience for 30 years over $800 he stole from a store in Michigan. His guilt became so unbearable that he finally saved up the $800 -- plus interest -- and sent $1,200 to a local TV station, asking its help in tracking down the man whom he stole the money from. The money also came with a note -- one that will renew your faith in humanity.
In a letter addressed to the Channel 8 news staff, the man explained that he wanted to return $800 with interest to a man he'd stolen from three decades before -- and that he needed help tracking him down. He then said he'd sent $1,200 to the sheriff's office.
The newsroom called the sheriff who went and checked his mail. In an envelope marked "Confidential," there were 12 $100 bills. Inside was the same letter the newsroom received. The letter was full of grammatical errors and typos but explained that 30 years before, he'd done "a very bad thing that I am shamed of," and that he had "lived with this guilt for too long." He wrote: "I can't begin to say how sorry i am. If you do find him [the owner], please tell him that I was afoolish stupid man when I did that and iam sorrie."
The sheriff was able to track down the man who owned the store at the time of the robbery and return his money. The guy was happy -- and quite astonished. "This does NOT happen every day," said the equally astonished sheriff.
The interesting thing is that the letter was so misspelled that the man couldn't have had much of an education, and very possibly still didn't make a lot of money. So the $1,200 may not have been easy for him to save up. Not to mention that he had no guarantee that the person he stole from would even be found. But it was THAT important to him to make amends.
Some great things have come out of this: The victim has regained some faith in people. The burglar has cleared his conscience. And we can all be inspired by this man's act. Some people really can change for the better. All of that is worth far more than $1,200.
What do you think of this story? Have you ever felt guilty about something you did when you were young and foolish?
Image via Channel 8