What if I told you that losing your wallet could help prove it’s still an amazing world?

You know the feeling—reaching into your pocket or purse only to realize that your wallet is gone. You may rummage around for a second, but as it sinks in that you may never see your horrible license photo again, you’ll probably assume it’s gone forever. But there’s the catch.

Image: Empty lost Wallet

Source: Pixabay

This was the experience of the well-known YouTuber Mark Rober. As a YouTuber and general thought leader of our times, he didn’t just mourn the loss of his wallet, no, instead he turned his loss into an experiment.

Mark set about trying to scientifically measure our collective niceness by losing 200 wallets.

How many people would return them? What kinds of people would be kind enough to do so? Is the world really as awful a place as it seems? Or are there good people, even in a small minority out there?

These, are just some of the questions his experiment was able to answer, and the outcome was, well to spoil it a bit… surprisingly positive! Check it out!

We’ve paired this video with thought-provoking discussion questions perfect for the classroom in this touchstone on our education platform, EWCed!

Take a minute to watch that last bit of the video again. No seriously, please do. Those are the words we all need to remember about our world. It is, fundamentally, a good place. People are kind.

“There are lots of good people everywhere! And not only that, they constitute a majority!”

Despite what we are constantly hearing, people are good. You don’t have to agree with every opinion or belief they have, but you can see them for the compassionate human they are.

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“Lately, it seems like so much of what you see online is meant to stoke outrage at some group of people versus ourselves.”—Mark Rober

What if, more often, we looked for our points of similarity before we looked for our points of difference? What if we took politics, religion, and hot-button issues (even if they are near and dear to our hearts and identities) out of the conversation long enough to find where we connected first? If that’s too difficult, what if we assumed the other person was inherently a nice or good person from the start?

How would we walk through the world differently?

But Wait, It’s Real!

So, the day after this article originally published we got this great note from an EWC reader and had to update this article!

“I had been staying at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas and while I was waiting for the taxi to go to the airport, I sat by the pool. 

When I got to the airport, I realized I had no wallet to pay the taxi driver. He actually took me back to the hotel, knowing he would not get paid. In the 30-45 minutes it took to get back to the hotel,  my wallet had been found by the pool and taken to lost and found. More remarkably, the contents of the wallet was all still there. 

In this case, I experienced the goodness of two people, the taxi driver and whomever found my wallet. I was very heartened and was sure to send the taxi driver his payment and a big thank you. 

So not everything that happens in Las Vegas, stays in Vegas!”

Great to know that the world works as nicely (if not nicer) in practice as it does in YouTube experiments!

Remember, it’s still an amazing world!

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!


Want even more of a lift?

Check out all of the articles in our Happiness & Hope library for even more reasons to be excited about the world!

The Nicest Place on the Internet!


  1. “200 Dropped Wallets- the 20 MOST and LEAST HONEST Cities.” YouTube, Mark Rober, 9 May 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnL7sJYblGY. Accessed 10 Oct. 2018.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

CEO of Ever Widening Circles, Founder of EWCed

Since 2015, Liesl has been a writer, editor, and is now the CEO at Ever Widening Circles. She is a life-long camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often root-tripping—outdoor enthusiast. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV