There is so much depressing news today and so much to be depressed about that it’s a very nice change of pace to be able to comment on what many call a "Paul Harvey" story.
The late Mr. Harvey was a pioneering radio broadcaster who combined news with human interest and some opinion. Some of his favorite stories involved people instinctively doing the right thing in an unfamiliar or stressful situation.
This Paul Harvey story happened in Wayne, N.J., on a Sunday night. A group of young men entered a store called Buddy’s Small Lots and started browsing. There didn’t appear to be many employees about, but since it was a Sunday evening the store could have been short-staffed.
After a few minutes the group selected sunglasses and batteries and went to the checkout stand. Still no employee present so they tried to raise some cash register assistance by shouting for a clerk.
But there was no response.
So the young men put their heads together, calculated the price of the items, placed the money by the register and left the store.
What’s remarkable about this is Buddy’s was closed and there were no employees at all inside! According the story reported by WSFA-TV, when Marci Lederman — part of the management team at Buddy’s — got a call from police she was told there had been a break-in at the store.
Naturally she rushed there fearing the worst. Yet strangely enough a quick glance when she entered the store showed nothing out of place and that mysterious cash left by the register. So like referees at an NFL game, Marci went to the videotape for a ruling and she saw for herself the unintentional secret shoppers.
Evidently what happened was the lock on the front door at Buddy’s malfunctioned. At 7 p.m., the rest of the mall is still open, including the pharmacy and grocery store that straddle Buddy’s. The same system that supposed to lock the door is also programmed to leave most of the lights on, so a casual observer — say a group of young men needing batteries and sunglasses — wouldn’t know the store was closed.
Management at Buddy’s knows honest customers when they see them and Luke Margolis is hoping they don’t stay secret for long. “Buddy’s really wants to thank them . . . so we can give them some gift certificates and hopefully just say thank you in person,” he said.
C. S. Lewis once observed, “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” In this case the security camera was watching, but that doesn’t make what these young men did any less admirable.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation and Chairman of the League of American Voters. Mike is an in-demand speaker with Premiere. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Click Here Now.
© Mike Reagan