The Pursuit of Virtue

June 6, 2017
By Anonymous

The Purse of Virtue
“When given the choice between doing what is right and what is easy, always do what is right.” Growing up, I constantly heard this from my mother. The meaning behind this message never held meaning until that day.
The fog dimmed the glow of the red Meijer sign as we walked to our car. The sky was overcast and I could hear the birds squawking dissonantly. I held on to the tail of my mother’s coat for guidance and followed her as my sister babbled to my mother about her upcoming school day. Once we reached to her red Mercedes, I hopped in the back seat while my mother unloaded groceries with my sister. The slam of the trunk told me they were done and I could hear the muffled talk of my mom telling my older sister, Mack, to put the grocery cart away.
Mack opened the car door and said she had found a purse. It was an olive green, well worn, and covered in twinkling rhinestones. My mother appeared confused, marveling in the odd occurrence.
“Did you find that in a cart?” my mother questioned. When my sister replied yes, she began to assess the situation. She reached into the purse, grabbing the newly found wallet. She simply slipped out the license to identify who owned it, and placed it back inside. My mom looked around to see if she could find the lady nearby, but she was nowhere to be found. With no luck, my mother buckled up and began to drive down the highway.
I watched as the cars whipped passed us in the opposite direction, with houses and neighborhoods in the distance. I could tell we were moving farther away from home. Where were we going?
We pulled up to a quaint house. It wasn't in the best condition; it was small and the color the faux leather of the was a faded. “Stay in the car; I’ll be right back,” My mother said as she got out of the car. She walked up to the front door. Anxiously, my sister and I watched her knock on the door. Soon, a small woman open the door. I saw my mother standing there chatting for a moment. I think my mom was telling her why she was there. If some strange lady came to my front porch I would be asking questions too. They talked and talked, followed by my mom giving the newly found purse to her."the lady peered inside, causing a smile to spread across her face. I could tell she was very happy to see her belongings again. Finally, my mom turned back towards the car and the door closed to the home.
When mom returned to the car, she adorned a new smile as well. She told us that the woman was grateful and mostly relieved that her belongings were back in her possession. She continued by saying “When given the choice between doing what is right and what is easy, always do what is right”. This is what she always taught us. Always do the right thing and don’t expect anything in return.
Looking back, this is just one of the memories of my family teaching me life lessons by just being themselves; staying true to their values. We could have left the purse in that parking lot, or we could have taken it for our own. From that day on, I always think about what the right thing to do is when I'm in a situation that could either be selfless or selfish. No matter what your situation is good or bad, you can always strive to help others. From that day on, I strive to be selfless and avoid selfishness, just as my mother always taught me.

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