Saturday, 3 March 2012

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime - by Mike Sands

The Bible states that the love of money is the root of all evil.  Mark Twain says it’s the LACK of money is the root of all evil.  Whichever view you favour, there is a consensus in our society that money is important.  Money may not be the most important thing in life, but as John Paine states,’ it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the ‘gotta have it’ scale.’  Money is appealing and we all desire to have it.  We realize, as P.T. Barnum stated, that ‘money is a terrible master, but an excellent servant’ and therefore we strive to be ‘the master of our own domain’. (Seinfeld episode) 

The question I pose is, how far do we go to obtain this dirty, filthy currency?  13% of all coins and 43% of all bills test positive for harmful bacteria and yet our society (not including the Japanese who heat press all cash at 395 degrees in all ATM machines) lovingly covets it close to our pockets and hearts.  There are countless stories of people demeaning themselves for the all mighty dollar.  The T.V. show ‘Survivor’ is an excellent example of this where contestants lie, cheat demean and debase themselves in order to win the game and the money.  Marrying someone for their money is not uncommon. There was the story of a woman who was berating her husband for the disproportionate value he brought to the household income.  She yelled at him, ‘If it weren’t for my money, this couch wouldn’t be here.  And if it wasn’t for my money, this house wouldn’t be here.  And if it wasn’t for my money, that car wouldn’t be here”.  The husband then piped up, “Ya, and if wasn’t for your money I wouldn’t be here.”  This brings me to my story of how far I went for the almighty dollar.
When I was 8 or 9 years old, I was in Grahams five and dime store with my mother in the Highland Creek Village.  I overheard a little girl say to her mother, “Mum, I found a dime”.  I was far enough away that I’m sure they thought that I did not hear their conversation.  I then said to my mum in a loud enough voice so the little girl and her mother would hear, “mum, I lost my dime.”(I bought into Will Rogers’  philosophy that it’s morally wrong to let a sucker keep his money) I saw out of the corner of my eye the girl’s mother motion her to give me back my ‘lost’ dime.  I took the dime and probably bought a chocolate bar with it that I’m sure didn’t taste as good as the previous ones I’ve had.  Since that day, and many family and friends can attest to, I have found an unusually large amount of dimes wherever I go.  I find them on walks, store floors, ice rinks, almost everywhere I go.  One time I found a nickel in a schoolyard field while I was waiting for my daughter.  I thought to myself, ‘what’s this, a nickel! (not a dime)’.  I took another five or ten steps and found another nickel.  Last week I found a nickel in Zellers, the next day I found a nickel at the ice rink.  Even when it’s not a dime, it adds up to a dime.

I don’t know if me finding all these dimes is a way for God to punish me for my dastardly deed, or if it’s a reminder for me to keep my path straight, but it definitely has given me a different perspective on how I view the almighty dollar and how I acquire it.  Everyone realizes large amounts of money won’t make you happy but everyone wants the opportunity to find that out for themselves.  Take it from me, after that incident, I realized money is not that important that you sell your soul for; it can as they say, buy a fine dog but cannot make him wag his tail.


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