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Body Pump class starts in 5 minutes and I luck into a jackpot parking spot right in front of the Y. I’d been listening to a podcast on my phone and suddenly it beeped that I had an incoming call.

It’s my 20-year-old niece. We’d just been texting back and forth before I left to go to the Y. She had been telling me how much she liked the new grocery store she was at on upper Peach Street.

When I answer, she’s sobbing.

She had lost her wallet somewhere between home and the grocery store. She’d checked all her bags, her car, her backpack… No wallet.

She’s your typical working-class, 20-something college student — working three part-time jobs just trying to pay for rent, groceries, and ridiculously priced books, all while racking up tens of thousands in student loans.

Suffice to say, the kid can’t bear to lose even one of her hard-earned bucks.

She had been trying to call the store, but it was ringing into some corporate headquarters located who-knows-where.

She assumed the worst. I knew that was unlikely.

“You need to get in your car right now and go back to the store,” I told her. “I’ll bet you someone turned it in. I swear to you, honey, people are inherently good. Ninety-five percent of the people who see that wallet, will take it into the store and give it to a cashier. Go now.”

30 minutes later she texted me: “You’re right, someone turned it in! I’m so thankful there are good people out there.”

I said: “Most are. Think about anyone who went grocery shopping. They’d be terrified to lose their wallet and wouldn’t want that to happen to anyone else.”

Despite our differences and divisions, by and large, people look out for one another and care for one another. Not always. Not in every neighborhood. I know. But, we do not live in the cesspool of hatred, violence, and crime that some politicians would have you believe.

The irony there is that those politicians trying to convince you our country is “a mess” don’t have a clue what it’s like to live in the real world as they dwell in golden penthouses and McMansions far removed from the kinds of common folks who shop at Aldis.

I had no doubt her wallet would be there. I have every confidence in the inherent goodness of common people.

Now, politicians, lawmakers, corporate CEOS, billionaires? I have every confidence in the inherent evilness that overtakes any person in a power of position and wealth because they have so much to lose and people they must keep down if they are to stay on top.


About Just Write: Just Write is my adaptation of free writing, a technique in which a person writes continuously and quickly without little regard for spelling, grammar, or topic. It helps writers overcome blocks of apathy and explore everything from meaningful topics to mundane observations with the same effort and without the pressure of crafting perfect prose. I just start writing.

“What ends up revealing itself when free writing is that everything has meaning. That is a magnificent gift of writing. If we write from a free heart-gut place, our souls start speaking.”