Tommy O’Connor, a senior at Irvington High School, found himself in the middle of a “What would you do?” moment as he exited a 7-Eleven in Fremont, California. On his way back to Irvington High School after purchasing a beverage at the convenience store, the child discovered a wallet on the ground.When he picked it up and looked inside, he discovered a slew of $100 bills.
Despite Tommy’s failure to count the money at the time, the wallet contained $2,300 in cash, which was later discovered. As he stared at the wad of cash, Tommy was forced to choose between attempting to return the wallet to its rightful owner and going on a shopping spree. Tommy, fortunately for one veteran, didn’t put off making the right decision on that fateful Tuesday.
The only option was to do the right thing, but there was a problem. Tommy was unable to locate the owner’s name within the wallet. He would not, however, consider pocketing the money. Tommy, on the other hand, went to his paraeducator, Anna Gomez, at school and handed over the wallet and cash. He was very concerned about finding the owner of the wallet, Gomez recalled. He had not considered any other options. He was well aware of his responsibilities.
Tommy explained that he didn’t count it when he saw it. He continued, “I just assumed it was someone’s rent or something.” As Gomez rummaged through the wallet, the couple discovered 23 $100 bills, but Tommy never considered doing anything other than making the right decision. A Veteran’s Identification Card, which revealed the owner’s name and the fact that he was a war veteran, was eventually discovered in the wallet.
Tommy O’Connor and Anna Gomez met with Irvington Principal Sarah Smoot, who helped them contact the vet and retrieve the wallet. Once the wallet and money were returned, the nameless but delighted owner confirmed that the cash was indeed for his rent and gratefully thanked Tommy with $50. Tommy’s story, however, is far from over. And his parents have every reason to be happy.
Tommy had a compelling reason to be drawn in by the money. The boy’s family lives paycheck to paycheck, and the day before he discovered the wallet, he didn’t even have enough money for lunch. Tommy’s father, Ron O’Connor, stated that with them living month to month, it’s a significant sum of money, and he is very proud of him for accomplishing it.
Tommy’s mother sent him a heartfelt text message after learning of his actions, but it was his reaction that revealed the teen’s true character. Sherry O’Connor texted Tommy to express her pride in her son. Ms. Kalra called her. He truly is one in a million. His mother adores him to the moon and back.Tommy, unable to take credit, responded that they should thank themselves. They called him up.
Despite the fact that the local media lauded the California adolescent, he demonstrates kindness. Tommy explained that it’s just him doing what everyone else would do. Tommy’s parents, on the other hand, are aware that he could easily have chosen to keep the money and are rightly pleased that, despite their personal difficulties, their son was not swayed and his morality did not waver.
Ron O’Connor can only be thankful that he did the right thing. Perhaps all of his children would have done the same thing.Tommy O’Connor, on the other hand, appears to be himself. Dipa Kalra, an Irvington physical science teacher and one of Tommy’s professors, said, “Tommy has always been that kind of guy – he’s really compassionate to other students.” She told his mother that she should be proud of him. He was only concerned with what the owner of the wallet was going through.
That is what we mean by compassion: the ability to understand and feel the emotions of another. It is synonymous with compassion, but sadly, it is becoming increasingly rare in a self-centered and self-obsessed culture. With self-indulgent technologies such as social media at their disposal, many members of our society, particularly our youth, focus on their own significance, difficulties, and demands, expecting to improve their own situation.
Tommy could have made a few thousand dollars more by doing so, but he didn’t. When we step outside of our self-important bubbles, like Tommy did, we all benefit to some extent. Yes, Tommy O’Connor only received $50 instead of $2,300, but he set an excellent example. As his story spreads, his actions will inspire others to reconsider and do the right thing. And that “lost wallet” could be his one day. Simply put, when society adheres to the Golden Rule — treating others the way we would like to be treated — we all benefit.