Guilt-Ridden Man Returns Money He Stole -- 60 Years Later (VIDEO)

note Yesterday, an elderly man walked into the downtown Seattle Sears store, intent most likely on relieving a guilty conscience that had been haunting him for 60 years or more. He turned in $100 to the store, along with a note explaining that he had stolen $20-$30 from their cash register back in the late 1940s. The enclosed money was payback for the theft, along with some interest. 

I don't wonder too much what a huge difference this made in the man's life, as I once carried out my own financial amends for a bad decision made long ago, the effects of such were life-changing.


If there's one huge lesson I've tried to absorb in my life and teach my kids, it's been to "do better next time." We all make mistakes and, sometimes, we also make really really bad choices. We are human. So when a family vacation with my kids serendipitously landed me in a diner where, as first-year college kid on Spring Break, I had dined and dashed -- for no other reason that I could -- I, too, decided it was time to pay them back.

I left some cash, with interest, and a note for our server, explaining that I owed the diner the money from a long time ago. What did it feel like? Honestly? Like the gates of my heart flung open and the heaviness was finally set free. I had no idea a childish theft under $20 had weighed so heavily on my soul. But I soon realized it wasn't about the money, it was about going back and being able to do the right thing the next time.

I sure hope this man, whose guilt must have weighed just as heavily for him to carry it more than 60 years, experienced similar relief. It's never too late to right a wrong, and you never know what future gifts will come when you do. In fact, the Sears store plans to put the man's payback dollars toward helping needy families this holiday season.

WATCH the news clip of this story:

Have you ever made an amends like this for a past wrongdoing?


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