Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A Penny is a Penny is a Penny

Is a penny just a penny?

I have an Indian head penny dated 1907. In the last one hundred eleven years, what do you suppose this penny has seen? 

This coin was minted just a few years past the turn of the century and might have joined nine more cents so a housewife could buy a box of Corn Flakes. Did it later sit in a child's sweaty hand to be traded for a tiny wax bottle of syrupy liquid or perhaps a stick of bubble gum?

Since this penny preceded World War I and World War II, one can only image where it has been and what it has seen and who has handled it. Has it been in the hands of a president? A beggar? A housewife? Or a movie star? Was it thrown into Italy’s Fountain of Trevi to make a wish come true, then gathered to give to the poor and eventually end up back in the United States to carry on doing good deeds?

During the Depression years, how many people were happy to clutch this penny in their fist? Did a young boy gleefully receive it as a tip for delivering newspapers announcing the end of WWII?  

In the Happy Days of the Fifties, did it sit snugly in a teenager’s penny loafer? As the economy progressed, was it cast aside as insignificant, or stuck in a glass Mason jar with a hundred others and later lovingly dropped in a five-year-old’s piggy bank? Was it handed to a child on Halloween who held out a box for UNICEF?

If this penny could talk, would it regale us with stories about the invention of moving pictures, automobiles, modern airplanes, computers? Did it wind up in the pocket of an astronaut who walked on the moon?  

Think of how the world has changed since 1907 and yet this penny still stands steadfast. We are not the same as we were twenty years ago; yet, this penny is just as valuable and spendable now as it was 111 years ago. It might even now be worth a little more than one cent.

The next time you see a penny lying in the street, don’t ignore it. Give it the recognition it deserves for the places it’s been and the people who’ve been happy to hold it and who may even feel it’s a heavenly sign from a loved one. Every penny, like every person, has a story to tell. Listen for it.

Quote of the Day:  Whatever your dream is, every extra penny you have needs to be going to that.  Will Smith