My lost mobile phone came back to me
My story actually happened one year ago in August 2011 and whenever I tell this story people just can’t believe it. I live in Cape Town, South Africa but was working for one month in Johannesburg as part of the management team for a training programme. One evening just as one of our sessions finished I realised that I left my phone in the Ladies toilet. I ran back, but the phone was gone. When I started to tell the people around me, they asked if I had tried to call the number, to which I replied ‘yes, but it’s switched off’ – shaking of heads, and shape intakes of breath, “Well, you know Wilma, this is Joburg, that phone’s gone I’m afraid. Just to give you some background, Joburg has a terrible reputation for high crime especially when it comes to mobile phones. Now my normal, default reaction would have been despair and anger – blaming myself (or others if it was within possibility!) but I had been recently re-reading The Secret and and reading ‘The Power’ and knew that If I did that, those predictions would come true. I thought about the story of the lost dog and knew that at this point all possibilities existed. So I replied “Yes I hear what you are saying, but I believe in the goodness of humanity, and I believe that whoever has found it, intents to hand it back” You can imagine the reaction I got when I said that; people laughed and humored me, but I could see in their eyes they believed I would never see my phone again. I went to report the phone to Security and searched myself, all the while people commentated on how calm I was. That evening I learned something that I may not have, if had I not lost my phone. The people around me – people who just one month before were total strangers, really rallied around me. Incredible kindness, warmth and support was shown to me and I felt an incredible sense of family – of belonging and truly being part of a group.
I was offered phones to make my calls home to let my family know what happened; people straight away got onto the internet to find out the number of my service provider to put a hold on my contract. So I started to focus on how grateful I was for the love and support of this incredible group of people who cared about me so much. That night, I got my charger out and plugged it in the socket as I normally would have and I told my phone how much I love and miss it and want it to come home. I said to the person who found it how much I appreciate them looking after the phone and thanked them for their intention of handing it back to me in the morning. As I lay in bed, I remembered Rhonda’s advice of replaying in your mind anything that did not go well that day, how you would have liked it to go. So I replayed in my mind going to the toilet and instead of forgetting and walking out without the phone, remembering to pick-up my phone and having it safe with me. I did this about 3 times. Then I imagined the scene of my phone being returned. The manager of the venue, with whom I had built a good relationship with, was off when I lost my phone. So I pictured in the morning, him walking into our conference room, with a big smile on his face holding up my phone. I pictured my joy and giving him a big hug of thanks. I kept repeating this vision over and over again until I fell asleep. I have to say at this point, it wasn’t belief that I had that doing these things would work, it was more hope.
In the morning the Manager did come to me, he said that he heard what happened and that his security team were checking the security tapes, but, he said even if they saw something suspicious, without definite proof there is very little they can do. Again, I repeated that I understand and that I was grateful for his team’s help and support and how wonderful they had been, that I am holding onto the belief in human kindness and the belief that the person who found my phone intents to hand it back today. He laughed and smiled at me. All that morning I continued to feel grateful to the wonderful people around me. I heard stories that unknown to me, that evening, one of the guys in the group had gone round the venue – into the bars and restaurants asking people to look for it and who has taken it to please hand it back because I am a part of their gang, so he is looking out for me. When I heard this story I was so overwhelmed and grateful that this person would go out of his way to do that on my behalf – I had to give him a hug! By late morning, I thought I better call my service provider and see if they might provide me with a new phone (hopefully at no cost) as I spoke to them, my heart started sinking. They told me no free phone possible it would cost X, plus cost me X for a new contract and X to still pay off this contract. As I put the phone down, I was feeling very despondent and disappointed, in that moment, I looked up and a beaming Manager was coming towards me, he held up a phone in his hand and asked ‘Is this your phone Wilma?’
When I tell that story here in South Africa, they can not believe it, it is totally unheard of to have a mobile phone handed back (I don’t believe that, I’m sure it happens often!). I know it was my faith in human kindness, my opportunity to experience that human kindness and my gratitude for it, the methods Ronda mentioned and my love for my phone that brought it back. It still amazes me one year later, that the vision I held of the Manager bringing it back to me and giving him a big hug is exactly how it happened. So I know for sure it was the LOA because a security guard or one of my team, the person who found it or anyone could have brought it to me. Thank you to all the people who played a role that day, I will always be truly grateful not only for getting my phone back, but for everything I learned through that experience.