Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The old man with $20

There is an elderly gentleman in my local community.
I don't know his name.
I don't know his story.
All I know is what he does everyday.

Every morning this man has a $20 note. Over the period of the day he goes from shop to shop in our local shopping complex changing this note for $10 notes then $5 notes and so on, until he has pockets full of silver coins.

You may have as many questions in your head as I do. Why does he do it? What happens to the silver coins? Where do the $20 notes come from? Does anyone else care? Why do I care?

The only one I can answer is the last. If you could see the smile on this man's face in the afternoon, as he is shuffling back up the road to the nursing home, you would know why. It's the kind of smile that just brightens your day. It's also the fact that this man does not seem to be at all interested in all the fancy things in the stores. He is absolutely over-the-moon to have changed his $20 note into silver coins.

I find it wonderful, to witness someone feel a real joy, not the kind of joy we all seem to buy with our little plastic cards.

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