We all make errors, but the ability to confess when we are mistaken is a valuable life lesson.
Bill Hargis was working at his music store, The Music Tree in Richmond, Virginia, on a Monday morning when a customer bought an $8 tambourine. Bill briefly turned away from the man throughout the transaction. The guy then reached over the counter and swiped Bill’s phone.
Things are just going to get worse. When Bill turned away a second time, the robber took a costly clarinet that had been sitting on a bench, according to security footage. As he walked out of the store, he gently placed the instrument on the ground and then hid it behind his bag.
The theft had a devastating effect on Bill. The stolen clarinet had been in the possession of a client for 22 years. It was a present from his grandfather when he was a teenager, and it had a lot of sentimental importance to him. When he found out it had been taken, he was devastated, and Bill resolved to do everything he could to get it back.
The Richmond Police Department released video evidence of the heist later that day, pleading with the public to come forward with any information. Those attempts, however, proved to be in vain. Bill’s security camera took up another unusual snippet of footage the next morning. The robber had returned with the clarinet and phone, carefully setting it outside the shop’s door before fleeing. He’d not only left a note, but he’d also left a message.
“Please pardon me… “I, too, have been a victim,” the note stated. “I’ve got a lot of bills to pay… My wife’s mobility is almost non-existent… I’m having difficulties, but it doesn’t give me the right to victimize others… Please accept my apologies… I don’t want this to happen to me… I’m going to my grave in humiliation.”
“I intend to travel through this world just once,” said an anonymous remark on the note. So, whatever good I can do, whatever kindness I can offer to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not put it off or disregard it, because I will not cross this road again.”
While Bill was relieved to have his stolen belongings returned to him, he stated that the note left him feeling empty.
Bill expressed his sadness by saying, “It was sad.” “He was regretful… He’s returning (the stolen goods) because he feels bad about it. If people do that, there is hope for them. I believe there is yet hope for him.”
This man made a mistake, but he had the bravery to recognize it and attempt to correct it. After all, we’re all learning as we go! We’re glad he ended up making the proper decision.