Would you pick up a dropped quarter? Matt's Memo


he moment of truth had jingled out of my pocket and was rolling along the pavement of the work parking lot. I had a jacket over one arm and a coffee in hand. I somehow had held onto all of my stuff as I pulled the keys from my pocket. A quarter spilled to the ground. I watched it roll away from the entrance to our building. With full hands and tight on time I deliberated what to do.

Should I take a few steps, rearrange the goods in my hands and bend down to pick up the quarter? Or, should I simply let it lie there? It got me thinking about the value of money in our world today. Where pennies and nickels once added up to great value we know have to extend to dimes and quarters or one and five dollar bills to feel we have purchasing power.

In that instant, I took my own personal measure of value attached to currency and coins. I thought if that was a penny would I stop to pick it up if my hands were otherwise full. Probably not. A nickel, maybe. A dime, more likely. A quarter, yes.

Even after making that decision I still chuckled a bit as I juggled the items in hand and started to bend. I thought, what if I hurt my back or blow out a knee while picking up the quarter? Would it then be worth it? A fraction of a second later I was standing straight again with quarter in hand.

All was well in the world. My net worth unchanged.

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