Justin enjoys hiking with his family, as it is their favorite hobby. One day, while hiking the forest, Justin found an abandoned car with an old locked box inside. He decided to find out what was in it.
Justin and the rest of the Jones family enjoyed hiking. They would drive to the top hiking spots around the country, be it the forest, hills, or mountains.
One weekend, they decided to drive to a forest 100 miles away from their home. They put up a campsite where they’d spend the night.
While looking for fresh mushrooms to pick, the boy realized he had lost the rest of his family as he wandered too far away. “Mom! Dad!” he screamed, but no one responded.
He continued walking, trying to retrace his steps. He was surprised to see an old abandoned car along the way. As it was getting dark, he decided to wait inside the car in case any wild animal appeared.
After several minutes, he heard his dad from a distance. “Justin! Where are you?”
“DAD! I’m here! DAD!” he screamed back. He heard footsteps approaching, and when he finally saw his dad, he ran to hug him.
“I thought I was going to have to spend the night alone!” Justin said, relieved. “Look what I found!” he added after pulling away.
His dad marveled at the vintage car. They decided to take a look inside, wondering if they’d find anything interesting. When they checked the trunk, they found an old box with text carved on it: “If you find this box, please take it to the address below. – 5/7/1995. Vincent Davis.”
“That address is just a couple of miles from here,” Justin told his dad. “Should we take it?” he asked.
His dad proceeded to carry the box. It was large and heavy. He set it down on the ground and slowly opened it, and what they found inside was astounding. There were several bars of gold and photos of people in military uniforms. There was also jewelry and several military medals.
“This costs a lot of money! I’m surprised no one has found it yet,” Justin’s dad remarked. “Let’s go take it to the campsite,” he said, leading Justin back to where his mom was.
When they got to the site, Justin showed his mom what they found. “Well, what do you want to do with it?” his mom asked.
Without thinking long, the boy replied, “We should take it to the address written, of course. Someone must be looking for it.”
His parents both smiled. “Good job. We’re proud of you for choosing the right thing to do,” his mom said.
The next day, after they completed their camping trip, they drove to the address written on the box. When Justin’s dad knocked, a woman in her 60s came out. “How may I help you?” the old woman asked.
“Hello ma’am, what is your name?” Justin asked.
“My name is Linda Davis,” she replied. After confirming her last name, Justin’s dad showed her the box. She gasped, so surprised that someone had finally found it.
“Oh, dear…” she said, tears filling her eyes. “My husband found out that his grandfather had left him an inheritance about 25 years ago. His grandfather buried it in the forest so that my husband’s father wouldn’t steal it away from him,” she started to explain.
“My husband went to find it, but he never came back. We found his body near the highway, frozen. We tried searching for the car, but no one has ever found it in nearby forests. It’s a miracle you found it,” Linda said, wiping her tears.
“The authorities said it’s likely his car broke down and he went to find help. He never found help and died on the way. He likely got lost.”
Linda couldn’t care less about the gold inside the box. Instead, she clutched her husband’s pictures near her chest, suddenly longing for his company. I miss you so much, Jack, she thought to herself.
Justin’s family gave her a moment to look through the box. After a while, she looked up from her trip down memory lane and said, “We never had any children, and I don’t have anything to spend on. I don’t need the gold, please keep it. I would just like his medals, the photographs, and the jewelry because this is my husband’s family heirloom,” she said.
“Oh, no, we can’t possibly take the gold, ma’am. This is yours,” Justin’s dad said, refusing.
“I insist. Please use it on something good,” Linda said, pushing the box towards Justin.
Although Justin and his parents tried to refuse a few more times, Linda wouldn’t take no for an answer. So, they left with a box of gold in hand.
When they got back to the car, Justin asked his dad, “Dad, Linda’s house looked very old, it almost looked abandoned. Can we fix it?”
Justin’s father smiled and agreed. “Of course, we can. We sell the gold and have her house repaired. Whatever’s left of the money, let’s donate to charity.”
So, one day, Linda was surprised to see Justin and his family back on her property. They told her their intentions, and she appreciated it a whole lot. She had always dreamt of having her house fixed, but she didn’t think it was necessary.
That day marked the beginning of a precious friendship between Linda, Justin, and his parents. They would visit Linda, and she would excitedly cook her favorite recipes that she hadn’t cooked in a long time. Sometimes, they would also invite Linda to their home so she wouldn’t have to spend holidays alone.
What can we learn from this story?
We should always do the right thing, no matter how tempting it may be not to. Justin’s parents tested him when they asked what he wanted to do with the box. He didn’t hesitate to say that he wanted to return the box to its rightful owner instead of keeping it.
We should always try to pay it forward. Linda wanted Justin and his family to keep the gold after they returned her late husband’s box to her. While they could’ve kept it, Justin’s family chose to pay it forward by using the money from the gold to renovate Linda’s house.
Share this story with your loved ones. It might inspire them and make their day.