How much has the shopkeeper lost

: When something is lost: We have to believe in people's honesty

Berlin - The child wonders. “Isn't the shopkeeper afraid that the things will be stolen?” It asks, pointing to all sorts of nonsense for people and an apartment that is picturesquely set up in front of a shop. "Apparently not," I say. And explain to him that the owner is relying on passers-by to abide by the rules and laws. Even if they feel unobserved.

That you pay for the goods you want. Keeping your hands off the property of others. And so on. And close, downright euphoric, because I've never thought about how good it is that such a shopkeeper can trust: "Because that is the only way to work together."

I remind the child of this conversation when, some time later, after a book premiere, he forgets his bum bag at the venue. "Somebody must have given it up," I encourage. And so that the child might even laugh, I lectured again on the honesty of the vast majority of people and this time I close with the found noodle. The book "Rico, Oskar and the Deep Shadows" begins with this.

When you lose personal things

Rico finds a rigatoni on the sidewalk and wants to find out who it belongs to. His search for the rightful owner ends prematurely with the nasty Fitzke simply eating the noodle. It works. The child laughs. No wonder. I don't know anyone who doesn't have to laugh at the word “Fundnudel”. And a call the next day shows that we can pick up the bag.

All's well that ends well? Not exactly. Losing things is like losing things like electronic devices. They never break individually, but always as a collective. Within a week I'll leave my camera on the bus and the child his gym bag. We encourage each other. “Why should someone keep your camera?” Asks the child, “it's small and old, and besides, everyone has a smartphone”.

Exactly, I think, and there are a lot of pictures on it. Everyone can imagine that those would be missed the most by the owner. And all the parents and children in the gym bag know what it's like to have to organize new things quickly. Besides, everyone has gym equipment.

Most people have to be honest

After a few calls to the lost property office, which I have fond memories of because it once brought me a jacket that I thought was lost and the sight of many relieved people, we are wiser: Neither was handed in.

How do you feel when you take something like that home with you, I think and can't find an answer. So I prefer to think about the trust of business owners and that most people have to be honest, otherwise this trust wouldn't exist.

A short time later, in my favorite café, I am asked to pay immediately. Too often it happened recently that guests sitting outside simply left. I'm not telling the child that. We'd rather read the story of the found noodle again.