Teen Does Unexpected & Returns Lost Wallet (How Sad That This Makes News)

wallet]Sad but true: As a parent, I sometimes feel like a used car salesman when I'm trying to sell my kids on the idea of "doing the right thing." Because most of the shiny, happy reasons I give them for being decent human beings ("The good things you do come back to you!") fall apart once you get 'em out on the road, just like an old clunker with a bum transmission.

So it makes me feel like less of a sleazy sugar-coater when I hear stories like this one: 14-year-old Dakota Edwards of New Hampshire was waiting for her school bus when she noticed a leather wallet on the ground by the side of the road. When she picked it up -- and it's a good thing she did -- she was pretty much shocked by its contents ...


In addition to the usual items (ATM cards, credit cards, driver's license), Edwards found 6 $100 bills in the wallet. 600 bucks!

Now, consider the average 14-year-old. $600 in cash. Call me jaded, but I'm thinking the standard adolescent reaction would have been to pocket the bills and put the wallet back where you found it (no one would ever know who took it! Score!).

But that's not what Edwards did. Instead, the teen turned the wallet and all of its contents in to her principal when she got to school, a move that surprised some of her classmates, Edwards says:

Other kids were like, "Why didn't you keep the money?" and "You're crazy," but I knew it was important to somebody, it would be important to me. I wouldn't have been able to live with myself knowing somebody was looking for that money.

Aww, what a nice kid. But here's the best part -- the good thing she did came back to her -- really! The wallet's owner, plumbing contractor Mark Polito, was so stunned by Edwards' honorable act that he gave her one of the $100 bills she didn't steal from him as a reward.

I'm sure Edwards was thrilled with the cash, but I bet her parents were even more thrilled with what Polito said about their daughter:

For a kid to find money and return it nowadays, you just don't expect it.

So often we hear about kids who do bad things these days. Dakota is just a special kind of person, when she told me all of the money was still in the wallet, I had no doubt, she is always thinking of other people.

How sad that teens have such an unflattering reputation these days that it makes news when a kid actually does the right thing and returns a wallet!

But not all kids deserve such a bad rap, and thankfully we have Dakota Edwards as proof.

Do you think teens get a bad rap these days?


Image via 401K/Flickr

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