Thursday, August 20, 2015

Lucky Pennies

I think I have come to a new conclusion about pennies. I wonder if I can help you catch my view...

Suppose after one rather tiring day of contemplating the future, a girl comes upon a bright, shiny penny lying in front of her foot. Well, if she's anything like me, she'll pick it up. Not thinking much about what she usually tries to get rid of, she can't help but glance at the brightness, and read the words.

"In God We Trust" lies along the top in bold letters. Maybe it is lucky to be reminded of that. Lucky to trust in something bigger than you.

A sigh, a few steps more, and fidgety fingers bring the other side into focus. A shield.... somewhat dimly she realizes "God will protect me," and with more excitement "he is my shield!" E pluribus unum, it says. Liberty, in tiny capital letters next to Lincoln's truthful head.

Why bother? Why would anyone care when the thing you make is work less than it takes to produce it? The Wall Street Journal revealed in 2014 that it costs 1.7 cents to make a ONE CENT coin. Pennies cost more than they are worth. I'm not sure what pennies used to be worth, but let's pretend it has always costed more to make than the value of a penny.

So why put in so much money and effort into something so worthless? Apparently, to Someone it has or had value. Someone saw a vision, even in something so small and worthless that few people care if it is lost in the pits of their couches.

Perhaps they saw that a nation could pride itself on the littlest things, and even the poorest of the poor could hold a shiny copper penny that pointed to higher and grander things - like God or freedom. A tiny thing that could be so worthless to some, yet to others it pointed to trust in time and work -- one comes from many, and many from one, after all. Holding a penny, all men were suddenly equal, just as they were created.

Maybe its extrapolation, but in my view the penny captured the essence of the nation. The founders took something big and compressed it, or maybe they saw something small and said that greatness has little beginnings. Either way someone developed the vision for a penny.

I'm not saying don't shoot for the stars. But remember that pennies are good too. Vision can be just as much for the little things of life as it is for the big.