FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Shane Murphy, a Fort Wayne-based artist, recently applied a lesson we all learn as kids to his artwork: to repay kindness as it comes.
Murphy picked up painting about 10 years ago, and he sells his art at local markets. At one recent market at Jefferson Pointe, he overheard other vendors talking about their merchandise that had been stolen overnight.
“I [realized] I had stuff taken as well,” Murphy said. “The skateboard was one, and then I had a large painting that was taken as well.”
Murphy posted his stolen work onto Facebook, hoping someone would recognize it.
Sometime after the skateboard was stolen, Murphy got a Facebook message from a mom in the Fort Wayne area. She told Murphy that her son had bought the skateboard off somebody at a skate park in downtown Fort Wayne. She said her son and his sister really liked the artwork.
“So, they looked me up,” Murphy said. “And that’s how they found the post.”
The mother informed Murphy that her son wanted to return the board once he found out it was stolen. Unfortunately, he didn’t know the man who sold it to him, but Murphy and the mother arranged a time to meet and return the stolen board.
Murphy paid the boy back what he had paid for it when he bought it at the skate park. Not only that, but Murphy also said he would make the boy a brand-new skateboard — for free.
“Even though you see [my] post doesn’t always mean that you have to reach out to return something,” Murphy said. “So I just felt that the kindness that they had given to me, I wanted to return that.”
When asked why he paid the boy back and make him a new board, Murphy’s response aligned with a lesson that children often learn at a young age: the Golden Rule.
“I just had always grown up in a way that if people do something good for you, you basically just repay it. It’s just as simple as that,” Murphy said.
You can visit Murphy and see his artwork at the upcoming holiday market at Electric Works starting in November.