Nearly 15 years ago a guy approached me as I was making an ATM withdrawal. It was during the holiday season.
He presented me with a pretty good story - nothing I had not heard before, but pretty good nonetheless. Being a writer, a journalist, a wannabe fiction novelist, I enjoyed the story, doubtful as I was.
I made him a deal. I gave him a twenty dollar bill and told him it wasn't a loan, simply a gift. "But," I told him, "if you really want to improve my attitude toward people in general, people with really good stories specifically, here's my post office box number. When you get situated, overcome your problems, if you return that twenty dollar bill you will have proven more to me than I am currently able to believe about people in general."
I've not ever really forgotten the incident, but I certainly had not been dwelling on it. I love a lot of people and a lot of people continue to disappoint me.
But somebody recently sent me a wrinkled twenty dollar bill in an envelope with no return address. I could not read the badly applied cancellation mark. I'm going to keep the twenty. Was it that guy? I'll never know, but he sure got even with me.
Now I don't know if I should work to improve my attitude toward people in general, or just those who have a good story.