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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Is there hope for the future? Sometimes, I think there is.



It’s odd the things you learn in childhood that stick with you through a lifetime – strange things.  Do you know that I still bend down to pick up a penny that I see lying on the sidewalk or in a parking lot?  “See a penny and pick it up and all day long you'll have good luck.”  My mother taught me that rhyme as a small child.

These days, of course, a penny is basically worthless.  I no longer need the penny, never did really; and, quite frankly, picking up a penny requires more effort as the years go by.  In fact, I almost feel a little embarrassed when I do it; but I do it nonetheless.  Why?

As I grew older, I interpreted the rhyme to mean that, if you’re so prideful that you would not bend over and pick up a penny, you don’t deserve good luck or good fortune.  And, moreover, it takes so little effort... well, why not?

Here’s where I segue into a recent experience I had.  It was nothing I suppose.  But, it’s funny how it impressed me.

I was in McDonalds.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t eat there much (hardly ever), but I do occasionally stop for coffee.  Oh, I can afford to go to Starbucks and I do once in a while.  The demographics are different in Starbucks.  That’s for sure.  Many of the customers are fixated on their laptop computers and cell phones.  Generally, Starbucks customers are slimmer, tidier, more mannerly, and presumably better educated. 

But…  Have you ever heard the saying (It’s a country song by Lester Flatt):  ‘Don’t get above your raisin’?  Meaning you better remember where you came from.  I try to do that – remember that is.

So, to continue, I walked into McDonalds.  There was a line of three boys, probably sixteen or seventeen, waiting to place their order.  I formed-up behind them.  The boy in front turned to me and said, “You go ahead sir.”  I went to the front and ordered my senior coffee.  I turned to him and said ‘thank you.’  I wanted to say that you must have great parents, but I didn’t.  He probably wouldn’t have understood why I said that anyway.

In telling this story to someone later, they asked me if I would have done that when I was sixteen or seventeen.  I said, ‘yes, I think I would have.  I hope I would have.’

I know this isn’t a big deal.  It just one of those little transitory life situations that gave me a bit of hope for the future.


True Nelson