Philosophy question...(a conundrum actually)
One day as a pre-teen I was walking across a parking lot of a restaurant with my father, a friend of his, Frank, who was a very (very) wealthy Italian
business owner and two of his brothers. One of the brothers had just paid for dinner and was examining the change he had in his hand. Among this
change were three pennies. The brother tossed the pennies from his hand onto the ground and put the rest in his pocket. The eldest brother (the
friend of my father) stopped cold in his tracks upon witnessing this. He instantly turned and physically assaulted his brother, and I mean
"assaulted" as in...beat the snot out of him!
After Frank had thrown his brother to the ground he walked over and picked up those three pennies. He then turned to his brother and angrily
shouted..."YOU NEVER, EVER, THROW MONEY AWAY...YOU HEAR ME??? NEVER!! NO MATTER HOW SMALL!! AND IF I EVER SEE YOU DO THAT AGAIN YOU WILL
BE UNKNOWN TO ME...DO...YOU...HEAR...ME????"
Frank was dead serious too, and his brother knew it. Frank had just told him he would be formally
"disowned" if he ever saw him do this again. Wow!!
Talk about getting jerked out of a daydream back into reality! One minute I was happily walking across a parking lot and the next minute I was
witnessing a fury of anger and shouting...all over three copper pennies!
Needless to say, that moment had a great and lasting impact on me. It suddenly made sense. Those three pennies, added to (97) others equaled a
dollar, and 5 dollars led to 10...and 10 led to thousands and on and on to private jets and houses on championship golf courses around the country,
all things Frank had earned in his life.
Those three pennies meant something...they meant everything! They were the foundation, and they were every bit as valuable as the millions of dollars
this man had worked so hard to earn.
As we walked to the car Frank noticed another penny on the ground and leaned over to pick it up. He picked it up and held it up between his fingers
and sharply turned around to his brother who was behind us in shame...YOU SEE?? EVERY SINGLE PENNY!!
...Frank said to him, reinforcing his
point. He then called his brother a 'dumb (insert Italian racial slur which I won't repeat here)'
. He was really pissed about this.
So where is this story headed? What's the conundrum, you ask?
Fast forward about 35 years. One day I was cleaning my office, and I found a half of a dollar. Not $0.50 cents, but literally a "half" of a dollar
bill. It was a dollar bill which must have been folded in half and then half of it was torn away somehow. I looked around for the other
half...well...I've looked around for the other half...for the past 12 years.
Beside my desk sits a pen holder which I keep some of my nice pens in. I needed a pen to sign something this morning so I pulled out one of the pens,
and with it came this torn dollar bill. I wondered to myself why I've kept this dollar bill all these years. Then I thought of Frank. I thought
about Frank...and those 3 pennies. Frank was the reason I still have that torn dollar bill.
I wished for a moment that Frank was still around, so I could ask him...if a dollar bill torn exactly in half was worth more, or less, than those
three pennies that day. Just to be sure, I put the torn bill back in my pen holder.
I still don't have the heart to get rid of that torn dollar bill...and whenever I see a penny lying on the ground I pick it up and put it in my
I'll probably never have the heart to get rid of that dollar bill, and someday, after I am gone, someone will be going through all my things deciding
what to do with them. I wonder if they will have the benefit of the wisdom I learned that day...about 3 simple pennies.
edit on 4/20/2019 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)