Sunday, November 25, 2007

Keys to the Renault

I went to the shops today and half way there I spotted a set of car keys on the path. I decided to leave the keys there so if the person who lost them retraced their steps they would come across them. But 45 minutes later during my walk back, I noticed that the keys were still there. Picking them up I pointed them towards at least two cars and pushed the button until one finally beeped, I realised I had two choices. Leave the keys and let the kids playing in the street find them, potentially taking the car and getting into trouble, or knock on some doors to see who they belonged to.

The first door I knocked on a man answered, well built with a goatee. He was very defensive at first (not knowing me and all) so I asked him if the Renault belonged to him and he said "yes, why?". I held the keys up and immediately his demure changed. He was extremely grateful and couldn't stop thanking me.

Now, to me, doing that was no big deal, but everyone I have told so far has said they never would have done it. I guess I don't understand why? What's wrong with returning keys to their owner if the effort was minimal? It was common sense really. Keys, car, house....

There's no wonder the world has such problems if simple acts of kindness are a scary thing to imagine. Perhaps it's gotten to the point where people are more comfortable with being violent to one another rather than being kind?


watty said...

I think your intention -- to get the keys back to their owner -- was absolutely correct. I also think you did the right thing to identify the car and knock on doors to find the owner. I would probably have left a note on the car to ask the owner to call me or get the keys from me; and now I realise that your method is better because you didn't reveal your personal information to a total stranger.

db said...

Hey! I did that very thing this summer on a walk with my brother and sister in law in Texas. There were keys dropped onthe sidewalk... they clearly belonged to the truck parked outside of the house... so we knocked. Of course there were three of us, so there was no feeling of intimidation or whathaveyou. The guy was initially brusque with us, and then very happy. You are right, it is sad that this sort of thing is suprising.