You hear this phrase a lot in the States, and I was reminded the other day of how true it can sometimes be.
Years ago we were vacationing in Mexico. Under the seat in the rent car, the Queenager, (then about 12) found a digital camera. We mentioned it when we returned the car but it didn't get much of a response. I would have left the camera there but something told me that no attempt would be made to trace the owner. When we got back to the States, I phoned the rental HQ who put me in touch with some random guy who'd actually lost a video camera. (Face palm.) I then called the office in Mexico directly but they said they weren't able to tell me who had rented the care before we did. (Can't blame them really, although I suspect apathy rather than tight security measures.)
The Queenager, who was already beginning to show her gift for photography, begged to have the camera, a Kodak if I remember correctly. I told her she could have the use of it if we couldn't trace the owner. We purchased a cord to hook it up to the computer and found there were photos to download. What transpired next was fairly cool.
There were about 20 photos of the same people, in a very rural setting somewhere in the States. One photo had them at what looked like a county fair, and the name of the town was clearly visible. I told the Queenager that we really had to try to find out more, and we Googled the organization. Sure enough, it was there on the Internet, so I e-mailed the secretary and told the tale. She knew exactly who the people were, checked with them and forwarded me their address. Unbeknownst to me, the Queenager had filmed herself showing the owners around her bedroom and talking about her interest in photography. I boxed the camera up and sent it on its way. (This whole venture took about four months BTW). Needless to say, although she knew we were doing the right thing, the Q was sad.
In a week or so, back came a charming thank you letter from Elaine, the camera owner in Michigan - and a reward of $50!!!
Not only was I pleased for the Q, now able to buy her first camera, but thrilled to be able to show her that doing what you know to be the right thing often has its own rewards.