SANTA CLARA, Calif.—A Silicon Valley man found $80 in cash and returned it to the owner with the help of social media.
After watching movies and videos on a relaxing Saturday, Aditya Chakraborty, who works at a startup in Palo Alto, decided to go out for an evening walk for some exercise. As he passed by one neighborhood in Sunnyvale, he saw the chunk of cash lying on the sidewalk.
“I just sort of ignored it, and I continued my walk. On the way back, maybe 45 minutes later, I saw that the cash was still there. And I could tell that it was a lot of money and whoever had lost it hadn’t come back to get it yet,” Chakraborty told The Epoch Times.
The 27-year-old waited around for about 10 minutes to see if anyone would come by to claim it, but no one did.
Since it was getting dark, he took the cash home and went to his computer. He opened up Nextdoor, a social networking service for neighborhoods, and wrote his story of how he had found the wad, in hopes of finding the right owner.
“If you’re reading this and had been walking along the same path as I had today, please do yourself a favour and pull your wallet out to check if it is lighter than it should be. Then, if you can correctly tell me how many of which denominations you are missing, I will know that you are likely the rightful owner of this money. Or perhaps you’ll have a lucky guess, in which case, I would say ‘congrats’. If I am unable to find the owner, I will donate the sum to charity, as it is not my money and I will not keep it,” he wrote in the post.
The next day, the owner messaged him directly. The person told him the exact amount and denominations of cash as well as the area they were walking to and from, Chakraborty said.
“I had a theory that whoever lost it probably lived around here, and they were probably taking a walk or something, and it probably just fell out from their pocket or something,” said Chakraborty.
It turned out he was right.
“I responded to them immediately, and I said where I live, and please come and get it. And so after a few minutes, they showed up in their car, and [I was] happy to hand it to them.”
Afterwards, he updated his post on Nextdoor, thanking everyone. He received many positive comments.
“Very impressed in today’s world you do not find as many honest people as you. Do know that blessings will come forward to you for this. You’ve given me Faith back with everything else that is going on in this world you had just made my day!” wrote one commenter.
Another person saw hope for the future after seeing his story.
“As little as 60 years ago, it would’ve been unimaginable to pick up money and keep it without trying to find who lost it. Guilt would’ve encompassed and swallowed us whole if we even thought of keeping it for ourselves. These days we find every excuse to break rules AND LAWS that justify our immoral behavior. We all suffer for it but the ones that suffer the most without realizing it are the next generation that grow up in a time with diminished moral values and ignorance of decency. To those of you raising the next generation, please consider this and instill these values into our young people so that they may do likewise and we may be a TRULY progressive society. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you again Aditya for being an ambassador for decency and moral compass. May we learn and teach by your influence,” the commenter wrote.
Chakraborty said whenever he finds money on the ground, he would usually give it to a homeless person or donate it. But since this was the most cash he’d ever found, he thought the person who lost it must feel really upset. So he tried to reach out through the internet.
“I’m surprised that it worked out. I didn’t think that it would work,” he said, and laughed. “But it didn’t cost anything to try, right? And it’s pretty easy. You just type in some stuff on the internet, [and] read a couple of messages. Doesn’t take a lot of effort from my side.”
Though his actions inspired other people, he said that was not intentional, but it did make him feel happy.
“I wasn’t actively thinking like, ‘I want to be a nice person.’ It just made sense. This is what you should do, like, anytime.”