The Not So Lowly Penny…

It started with a simple question… my granddaughter, seeing a penny on the ground, asked, “Which side of the penny is the lucky side?”  I didn’t know the answer to that question…

I’ve since discovered that some people belief that you should only pick up a penny if the heads side is showing… in other words, the ‘lucky’ side.  Ironically, my granddaughter’s next statement was, “Because I was only going to pick it up if it was a lucky penny.”  However that started me thinking.  If I saw a penny – heads or tails – would I stop to pick it up?

A recent study found that nine in ten Americans will stop to pick up a coin on the street, but only fifty-six percent will stop to pick up a penny.  So… what became of the old adages… “penny wise, pound foolish” and “a penny saved is a penny earned”?  Hmm…  Now I will show my age… I remember counting pennies to be able to buy milk at school to go with my bag lunch.  I remember counting pennies to go with my mother and siblings to buy hamburgers when the first fast food restaurant came to our town.  I remember collecting empty soda bottles to turn in for a two cent per bottle refund.  Okay, so clearly this reflects more than my age, it reflects that I grew up in a generation where thriftiness was the norm, and in our family, thriftiness was essential.  And interestingly, I can’t say that I suffered because of our modest lifestyle… there was always food on the table and a warm place to live.  If I think back to the generation when my parents where children, there was a great depression across our land, and people treasured every penny they had.  Many went without.  Perhaps we have lessons to learn (or remember) from being “penny wise”.  So, first, here’s a few interesting tidbits about the penny…

  • The face on the penny (Abraham Lincoln) is the only face on a coin that faces right instead of left… hmm?
  • The U.S. Mint produces more than thirteen billion pennies annually – just wondering, where are they?
  • The average penny circulates for twenty-five years… the average dollar for just eighteen months.

And an inspirational thought about Abraham Lincoln, whose face graces the lowly penny, and a quote from this mighty President…

  • Abraham Lincoln lived an early life of abject poverty, his mother died when he was eight, as an adult he had two business ventures fail, he lost eight elections, and had a nervous breakdown… but rose back and become President of these United States.
  • Abraham Lincoln is quoted… “Don’t worry when you are not recognized but strive to be worthy of recognition.”

Which brings me, finally, to where my thoughts were when I began to write about the penny.  Do you sometimes feel like a “penny”?  In other words, less than important?  Do you sometimes feel like there are so many other people… perhaps we’ll call them “dollars” … who are so much more important, or more successful than you?  If so, please, please, let me reassure you that you are a person – on your own – of great value.  Whether you feel your job, or role in life, is important is entirely up to you… only you need to believe in yourself… it matters not, or at least very little, what others think.  You, doing the best at whatever role you have, living a life of integrity, and serving to make life a little better for those who come across your path.  Your life matters.  You matter.  Thank you for who you are, and what you do… have a good day… a penny for your thoughts?

2 thoughts on “The Not So Lowly Penny…

  1. Isn’t it interesting how we seem to live “in extremes” – either feeling of little value; or else dealing with the monster of pride…..


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