Have you ever found a dollar on the ground and picked it up with a big smile on your face? Now, imagine if you found a whopping $125,000. Would you return it to its owner, or still keep it? Joe Cornell, a 52-year-old homeless man and meth addict living at The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Fresno, California, shocked the nation with his action when he discovered the money which had fallen off a Brinks truck.
A Meth Addict Is A Human Being Too
It started off as a regular day for Cornell, who was simply watering plants when he spotted a bag that tumbled off a Brinks armored truck. Cornell’s curiosity led him to soon discover $125,000 inside of the bag. Despite “only having a dollar for lunch,” Cornell had one main thought on his mind — somebody else was at a great loss. Internally weighing his options, Cornell ultimately knew he had to make a decision that would affect the way his grandchildren would remember him, and he didn’t want meth addict being one of them. He wanted to be a truthful man for them, and with this thought, Cornell decided it was best to contact his supervisor and turn the significant sum of money over to authorities, later claiming it as “the right thing” to do in the situation.
Cornell will be completing his treatment program at The Salvation Army this July. His actions from this story certainly prove that recovery is possible. Even when we have close to nothing in sobriety, we can still do the next right thing with no expectations of anything in return. In Cornell’s case, however, he was fortunate enough to receive a reward of $5,000 from the Brinks Company for his honesty.
A Meth Addict Suffers From A Disease, Not A Moral Dilemma
Stories like this emphasize how recovery can change the way a meth addict thinks and provide them with the ability to be subjective over a conflict in ethics. A tempting situation can cloud an addict’s judgment all too easily. This is why it is a huge deal that Cornell was able to take a look at the big picture and continue on the right path of his recovery. Finding a large sum of money could be a major contributing factor in a relapse for a meth addict or anyone in addiction, because having it in their possession has huge potential to be triggering. When it comes to triggers, an addict’s thought process may resort, if only for a moment, back to the way it was when they were in active addiction. This can be scary for those recovering, but as long as they don’t take action on the detrimental thought, it will pass, leaving them the opportunity to make the right decision, like Cornell did. His honest actions bring both hope and enlightenment to society that, even with a history of poor judgment, a person can redeem themselves by having the capability of integrity.
What temptations were you given in early sobriety? How did you handle them? Please share with us your experience so that we may continue to help others grow in recovery.
What is meth and what can it do to me? Check out some of these before and after photos: Faces Of MethTags: disease of addiction, Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation