Friday, November 07, 2008
#136 - Change
Apologies for the delay everyone! It was an easy prompt this week - you can either go your own way, or take the obvious route - it's "change."
I pick up pennies on the street. I'll admit it. I just can't help myself. If I see small change on the ground, I consider it fair game. The most I've ever made in a day is two dollars, but that doesn't really count, since I just happened upon two $1 bills one day in the English building when I was in college.
I have made as much as 22 cents in change in a day. During a rough patch in my life, I found at least one penny every day for a streak so long that I stopped counting the days. I called them "Pennies from Heaven" and believe that if they were put there for a reason, it was to teach me to be thankful for even the smallest blessings in life.
I kept the pennies in a small plastic container. Eventually, I saved enough pennies that I had received in change and that I found on floors and on the ground that I was able to cash them in at the bank. It came to less than $10. I was still thankful for the pennies, wondering how much of that money I made from change that other people discarded.
Months later, I walked into the laundromat to wash a load of clothes, and I saw a tempting sight: pennies, nickels and dimes all over the floor in front of a washing machine. A young man was loading clothes into a washer near the change. He left while his clothes were washing, and I resisted the temptation to pocket all of the change. I figured that somebody who needed it more than I would see it and pick it up. Or maybe somebody who didn't need it at all would snatch it. Either way, I had learned my lesson and no longer needed to rely on the "Pennies from Heaven" to appreciate what I had.
I don't find pennies very much anymore. Maybe it's because of the economy, or maybe other people got the same idea I did. But I don't think so. I think it's because I don't need my object lesson anymore.
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