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Jane Hutcheon

broadcaster/journalist/author

18 Dec
2014

Found and Lost Personal Life

Jane Hutcheon

Building a Lego community gets you thinking.

Last week, a friend was getting his daughter into her car-seat to drive her to school.  He put his camera kit on the pavement while he strapped her in.  Then for whatever reason, his attention got diverted.  

He drove away leaving the camera bag - with $20,000 worth of equipment - on the footpath outside his home.  By the time he’d realised his mistake and contacted his partner to see if she could retrieve the bag, more than an hour had passed.

My friend’s business cards were inside the bag, but it never re-surfaced, despite contact with the police, a lengthy search and notices being displayed around the street.  

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting actor and comedian Shaun Micallef before interviewing him for my program One Plus One.

A few minutes after he walked into the interview room, he realised his mobile phone and wallet were missing.  

He thought for a moment, then calmly announced he’d probably left them in the canteen or make-up room.  He wasn’t flustered or concerned.  Within moments, a make-up artist appeared and returned the missing loot.  Then we sat down to chat before the cameras began to roll.

I asked him why he had been so calm about losing his possessions and he said that he expected to find them or to get them back.  He didn’t like the default position to be that someone WOULDN’T do the right thing.

It reminded me of lots of good fortune I’ve had in the past.  Once I left my laptop (with my life on its hard drive) on top of a turnstile at Central Station.  The station attendant retrieved it and kept it safely in his booth.   On another occasion I left an iPad on a Qantas flight.  It was handed-in it to Lost Property.

I admire Shaun’s perspective.  It’s a great feeling to be human and have others doing human things.  It's wonderful to have our valued possessions returned.  It’s a big reason why we value the idea of a community.

But we don’t always know our neighbours or some people within our community.  Sometimes, outsiders may cross our paths.  

What should we expect of them?  To put it more bluntly, what would you do if you came across a stray iPhone and a wallet, a bag of expensive-looking camera equipment, or $100, just blowing around in the gutter?

How do you behave when no-one is looking?

(Lego Community design by Isla)

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