6:58 A.M. Awakened by the schnauzer; time for her morning constitutional. Downstairs I hear my wife moving around, and I know that our youngest is readying for school.

7:30 A.M. I am already, as is the case every day of the week, waiting on the peculator and checking my overnight e-mails. Noting the slightly out-of-the-ordinary and discarding the customary, I make some quick notes, pour the coffee, and pick up the ringing Blackberry. The morning is developing as any other morning.

7:45 A.M. Our teenager stumbles downstairs and plops face down on the couch; unlike our youngest, he was never a good morning person. I kiss one son goodbye as he runs out the door after Mom, already waiting in the car, and try waking the sleeping giant on the couch; for a moment I recall that not-so-distant past when he could cozy up on a single cushion. The Blackberry rings again ending my reverie.

8:00 A.M. Mom is back from school run #1, and begins the slightly more difficult task of mobilizing he of the size 13.5 sneakers. He is cranky (nothing new), wants garbage for breakfast (nothing new), and insist on watching ESPN (nothing new) as he ponders his Pop Tarts.

8:17 A.M. The first crisis of the day arrives via Blackberry, it’s handled, nothing Earth-shattering then three more, they are handled. I pop up my Outlook to check my schedule for the rest of the day then bang! bang! bang! bang! the Blackberry is at it again…it’s going to be one of those days.

8:42 A.M. I know it’s 8:42 A.M. because I am starting to gauge how much more I can get done at my desk before I have to let things rest long enough for me to shower, dress, get out the door, and make it to my 10:30 on time. Miami Beach is an hour away in good weather and better traffic. I can handle auditing two more contracts (maybe) before drop-dead shower-and-shave, I-have-to-get-on-the-road time.

8:45 A.M. Mom drops checks that need my signature on my desk, she is making a Post Office and bank run. “Keep an aye on the clock; it’s at least an hour to South Beach.” Kiss…

8:57 A.M. Kiss Mr. Middle School, size 13.5 Kobe IV wearing, hair gelled (HAIR GEL?) son before he leaves on Mom’s morning taxi run #2. Mom comes back, rushed: “Did you sign those checks?” I give her the envelope and the prepared deposit slip…kiss. “Bye!”

9:02 A.M. “Have to call you back in a few.” Hang up the Blackberry on the newest issue requiring my attention; it immediately rings again…have to talk while the shower is running. Talked while I shaved. Talked after I shaved.

9:27 A.M. Damn…now I am behind, will not pick up that damned call. Text message my 10:30 meeting to let them know that I am running late. It’s Miami, it’s expected.

9:33 A.M. Damned Blackberry won’t stop ringing.

9:42 A.M. (I know that it is 9:42 A.M. because I am now checking the time on the clock by my razor almost constantly). I hear the door downstairs, and I know Mom’s taxi has run its errands and is back home. If I hurry, I can get out by 10:00 A.M.

9:43 A.M. Rinsing off…is someone crying? “Honey?!”

9:44 A.M. She walks into the bathroom, “I can’t find the checks! Did I leave them here? I checked everywhere!”

I don’t know what time it is. I am trying to console her, trying to dry off, trying to put some clothes oh, trying to figure out what happened between 8:57 A.M. and 9:41 A.M., trying to talk to her while she is busy tearing the house apart, trying not to walk past an open window soaking wet and wearing nothing but an undershirt.

“IwenttothePostOfficeanddoppedoffthemailthenIwenttothebankandhwhenIreachedinmypurseforthechecksTHEYWEREN’TTHERE. THEY WERE ENDORSED AND I LOST THEM!”

9:52 A.M. Regaining composure…I am anyway, she’s not. “You have to call them and have them put a stop payment on those checks! THEY WERE ENDORSED AND I LOST THEM! (I am texting what used to be my 10:30 A.M., trying to make it my 1:30 P.M. because I know that my 11:30 and my 12:15 aren’t flexible. They say OK…they’re running late too. It IS Miami, it IS expected). YOU HAVE TO PUT A STOP PAYMENT ON THOSE CHECKS!”

Losing track of time again, trying to regain composure. This is what I do for a living after all…remain composed during difficult situations.

9:55 A.M. She tells me that she traced back every step she took since leaving the house with Mr. 13.5 Kobe IVs and the deposit, and that maybe they either fell out or were taken out of her purse at the Post Office. She went back, found nothing and nothing had been turned in to the clerks. “YOU HAVE TO PUT A STOP PAYMENT ON THOSE CHECKS, THEY WERE ENDORSED. SOMEONE IS GOING TO CASH THEM!”

9:59 A.M. Type out e-mail to issuing company asking them to put a stop payment on the checks. Please re-issue and deduct any expenses incurred by the stop payment procedure.

10:02 A.M. Sent e-mail (I can tell the exact time from my Outlook). Trying to settle her before (finally) getting dressed (still wearing an undershirt) and out the door. “Hey! It happens to all of us. I’m sure that they will send us new checks…” The house phone is ringing, it’s our bank. She takes the call.

“Yes, this is Mrs. ############.”

“Excuse me?”


“Did they give you a name?”

“Mail it…that’s fine. Thank you.”

October 29th, 2009. 10:03 A.M. My faith in mankind is somewhat restored by an indiscriminate act of human decency from a complete stranger. A nameless, faceless human being who upon finding two endorsed checks and a deposit slip in an envelope in a Post Office parking lot, drove to a bank and deposited them in an account belonging to complete strangers, just because it was the right thing to do, has reminded me that there are still honest, decent, caring people in this world.

10:32 A.M. I am on the road to my 11:30. I should be able to make my 12:15 and my rescheduled 10:30 pretty much on time, if traffic holds steady. If not, I may be a few minutes late (it’s Miami, it’s expected). I can’t stop thinking about the incredible turn of events and the individual whose tiny act of selflessness has now indebted me to “pay it forward”.

My Blackberry has been unusually quiet for some time, resting itself for the rush of after-lunch issues needing resolution, so for the moment, maybe a little music. I dig up my favorite oldies CD, and forward the tracks to the tune I want to hear. A day like today merits a little Jackie DeShannon:

Think of your fellow man
Lend him a helping hand
Put a little love in your heart

I have to pay this forward. I have to repay one stranger’s selfless act of basic decency with an anonymous act of decency myself.

And the world will be a better place

Maybe, if we would all simply engage in one indiscriminate act of human decency toward another human being, and if every one of the recipients of those acts would pay them forward, then…

… the world will be a better place
For you and me
You just wait and see

My God…I feel so good! I am going to hug a tree or something!

10:47 A.M. The shrill ring of the Blackberry brings me back from my euphoric daydream…the screen says “Home”, I answer it. “YOU HAVE TO STOP THEM FROM PUTTING A STOP ON THOSE CHECKS!”

10:49 A.M. There are cars whizzing by me at speeds that would knock me into tomorrow if they veer just a couple of inches to the right, as I type my second e-mail of the day: “You are never going to believe this…”

People, now put a little love in your heart
Each and every day
Put a little love in your heart
There’s no other way
Put a little love in your heart
It’s up to you
Put a little love in your heart

10:52 A.M. I pull back into traffic, thinking ahead to the issues to be dealt with during my 11:30. I am going to be a little late, but it IS Miami, and it IS expected.

It’s OK however. Thanks to an indiscriminate act of human decency from a total stranger, I feel like I can tackle the whole world today.

Put a little love in your heart!