Lessons Learned From the Value of a Penny...

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate

 

jar of penniesWhat's the value you place on a penny?  That question has had different answers at different times in my life.  In college, pennies found at the bottom of my book bag, locker or purse, were a little bit of a nuisance.  You couldn't use them as change for the vending machine or to do your laundry.  In addition, some local merchants looked askance when many pennies were used to pay for an item. 

In fact, gathering a large number of pennies meant a trip to a local bank (I didn't have a car so it meant taking the bus) and gathering up paper containers to load up the pennies to return them to the bank to get the equivalent in a larger denomination like a dollar.  In my opinion...a lot of work and energy for almost nothing!

Well, I obviously did not understand the wisdom of Ben Franklin who is famously quoted as saying " A penny saved is a penny earned."  In an article entitled: "Penny-wise: Save Those Pennies--They Can be your path to riches, author Vanessa Cortez writes the following:

It takes under a second to snatch a penny off the ground, or search a phone or vending machine's coin return slot.  But even if you require a whole second to grab that penny, you're earning money at a rate of 60 cents a minute -- $36 dollars an hour! So really, while collecting your copper cent, you're actually working at a job that pays an annual salary of $72,000!

    And that's if you limit yourself to a mere 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year.  Industrious penny seekers -- ever eying the ground and checking coin return slots -- even during overtime and vacation time -- can expect to push their annual earnings well above $100,000!

Now, while I wouldn't want to make picking up pennies my career, an important point is being made.  The good Book puts it this way "Don't despise the day of small beginnings."  It is within the past several years, that I have begun to more fully understand the dimension of power packed into cultivating an appreciation for the small things....the smile from a stranger, the gift of a thought at the right moment, the message in a song.  Now, I more fully understand that in the linguistics of heaven, the small things are much bigger than we initially think.

Case in point.  Almost a decade ago, I was in a grocery store with my young son. A lady suddenly stopped her grocery cart and said to me "Where do I know you?"  We both couldn't think of the answer to the question and as we struck up an impromptu conversation...our toddlers getting antsy in the shopping cart, we finally determined that we had never met, but made plans to get together in the future.

That was start of a wonderful friendship with Patricia Jabbeh Wesley.  Patricia and her family had recently emigrated to the United States from war torn Liberia.  Her passion and tears for her forsaken homeland found the depth of their expression in her writing of poetry.  She had been a university professor in Liberia before the war stripped her and her young family ofPatricia Jabbeh Wesley with friends in Grand Rapids, Michigan everything material.  But it could not steal the gift of the muse within her heart.  Her chronicles or the war through poetry have earned Patricia recognition as one of the great African poets of our time. Several of her books have received critical acclaim.

When I started my blog, Patricia was one of the friends I e-mailed about it. Today, Patricia e-mailed me a link to her new blog where she chronicles her life, her craft and the places she's been.  In her e-mail she indicated that my blog had inspired her to start her own!

On her blog, pictures of one poetry reading conference in Bogota. Columbia are stunning.  You have to see the picture of the crowds to believe it.  No...this was not a football match. This picture is of thousands of people gathering to hear poets read in the language we all instinctively understand...the language in which artist and writer merge...the language of poetry.

My life has been enriched by friends like Patricia.  Friends who encourage me to be fearless and step up to the plate and swing the bat as hard as I can to hit the ball out of the park!  Friends who are not afraid to let their lights shine.  Now, that is no small thing...nor is there such a thing as a "chance meeting."

So, never underestimate the power of a small penny or the possibilities of new friendship. I wonder how much of life's opportunities we miss because we are too busy chasing the "Almighty dollar" to stop and have a conversation with a stranger or to even look at where we're going...we've all probably passed all kinds of money on the ground!  If you really understood the true nature of the worth of things...you might find that the value of these small things is incalculable!

To Read More of Patricia Jabbeh Wesley's poems Visit her Website.

*Picture of Patricia & friends is the property of Lola Audu

*Picture penny courtesy of smackfu on flickr

Copyright 2007 Audu Real Estate  All Rights Reserved

Grand Rapids, Michigan Featured LIstings

   Find Your Next Home in Grand Rapids, Michigan 

 Click Here to Read More about Grand Rapids, Michigan

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Groups:
Random Readers Book Report
Tags:
inspiration
patricia jabbeh wesley

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
387,754
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Hi Carol,

Thank you for taking the time to call & talk today!  You were, in part, also a source of inspiration for this blog post.  Patricia's poetry is extraordinary.  If you have a chance to pick up or browse through one of her 3 published books, I would highly recommend it.

Aug 15, 2007 02:23 PM #2
Rainer
233,417
Diane Rice
Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL - Lansing, IL
SFR, SRES, CNC

Hello Lola.  This topic caught my eye immediately for i am married to a wonderful man who knows the value of a cent.  It's his humility in not despising the day of small beginnings that has governed our life, and keeps me from "flying off!"   Because of what we do, he comes across hundreds of pennies left behind by those that did not know this meaning.   He'd be so pleased to read your linked article.  It will encourage him.

You are blessed to have acquaintances as Patricia.... beautiful blog, wonderful story, beautiful pictures... thanks for sharing.... glad she has you as a friend.

Aug 15, 2007 02:38 PM #3
Rainmaker
387,754
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!
Hi Diane,  I appreciate your comment.  Your husband is a man who has real wisdom.  The article is very interesting...I had never understood how powerful this concept can be until fairly recently.  One of the things I have started doing is being consciouly thankful whenever I see a penny because it represents a part of a much larger whole which is part of God's blessing in my life!  Thank you for stopping by to read and to visit the blogs mentioned.
Aug 15, 2007 02:45 PM #4
Rainer
46,249
Harold Watts
Teles Properties - Palm Springs, CA
Palm Springs Real Estate Blog

Lola,

What a wonderful story.  I have learned that there are no coincidences in life, that people come into our lives for a reason and stay there for whatever time God (or a Higher Power) sees fit.  It was no accident that you & Patricia crossed paths on that fateful day in the grocery store.  I never try to figure out why people are in my life, but just learn to enjoy every minute of the experience.  Patricia's poetry is very moving.   Thank you for sharing this with us.

Aug 15, 2007 03:02 PM #5
Ambassador
3,551,366
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Wonderful post, Lola, Such a valuable lesson, and so well writeen. You truly have a gift!

Jeff

Aug 15, 2007 04:12 PM #6
Ambassador
803,469
. 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC
REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK - Asheville, NC
What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779

Lola~

This post is bookmarked and my Muse is in love with the zephyrs of inspiration I find here. . .

Aug 15, 2007 04:16 PM #7
Ambassador
2,596,705
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services
Again you wrote such an eloquent post about such an important part of life, appreciating the small things, taking time to give a smile, to give a hand. I love poetry. I am going now to read Patricia's poetry on her blog. I wrote poetry almost daily from 12 years old til about 21. Then life happened, lot of kids, etc. My grandmother wrote poetry until her last years. She passed at the age of 97. My mother was a very famous poet in Latvia behind the iron curtain. She had escaped Stalin and her poetry was smuggled into Latvia. Katerina
Aug 15, 2007 05:28 PM #8
Ambassador
918,697
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

Love the analogy, yes, don't despise the day of small beginnings. Sounds like a long, wonderful friendship developed.

Going to read Patricia's poems and blog.

Aug 16, 2007 12:15 AM #9
Rainmaker
387,754
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!
Harold, Thank you for stopping by to read and for leaving such an insightful comment.  It is very important to live in such a way that we can receive the gifts that come into our lives daily!  We often miss them because we don't know how to recognize what a true gift is.  This is an on-going lesson being learned in my life.
Aug 16, 2007 02:15 AM #10
Rainmaker
387,754
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!
Jeff, Thanks for the comment and I'm glad you appreciated the story.  Hope it blesses and nourishes your life in some little way today! :)
Aug 16, 2007 02:16 AM #11
Rainmaker
636,914
Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

Lola, you are such a nice person. The folks around Grand Rapids are very fortunate.

Bill Roberts

Aug 16, 2007 03:01 AM #12
Rainmaker
387,754
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Hi janeAnne, Thanks for stopping to read and comment.  Also for giving me a new word...zephyr  :)

Katerina...Thank you for your comment.  What a rich heritage you have.  I think you will find in Patricia's poetry a kindred spirit!

 

Aug 16, 2007 03:35 AM #13
Rainmaker
387,754
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Thanks for stopping by Missy.  Enjoy reading the poetry.  It is very inspiring and interesting!

Thanks Bill!  I consider myself fortunate to live in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Aug 16, 2007 03:38 AM #14
Rainmaker
1,073,709
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Hi Lola, I always marvel at your posts.  They are warm, revealing and offer a gift of new and enlightening options in life's quest.  great post Lola.
Aug 16, 2007 10:26 AM #15
Rainer
36,583
Chris Hendricks
Walnut Creek, CA
Quite nice.  Lola:  I'm putting you on my list of people to meet when I get a chance to visit your town.  Thanks!
Aug 16, 2007 11:32 AM #16
Rainmaker
387,754
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Thank you Gary, I appreciate your comment and your compliment.  Being able to communicate through Blogging is a gift in many different dimensions...small and large.

Hi Chris, Thanks for stopping by to read & visit. You are very welcome to stop in for a visit when you're in GR!

Aug 16, 2007 11:56 AM #17
Ambassador
2,070,380
Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

Me and my wife found a few years ago and it was dingy and ragged tucked in some leafs up against a sidewalk. But, I picked it up anyway and decided to purchase a lottery ticket with it, since we didn't have it before we wouldn't miss later. Won $100 that night! What a nice dirty dollar that was!

Aug 18, 2007 05:38 PM #18
Rainmaker
387,754
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!
Wow, that was an amazing story Todd!  It illustrates the value of a "small thing" and it's potential in a remarkable way.  Thanks for sharing your personal experience.
Aug 21, 2007 02:53 PM #19
Rainmaker
93,537
Nancy Pav
Long & Foster - Ashburn, VA
Nancy Pav, Your "GottaHave" Realtor

Lola,

 

I thought your blog was absolutely wonderful.  The small things make up the big things so without them, we'd be lost

Jan 11, 2008 08:05 AM #20
Rainmaker
387,754
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!
Thank You Nancy...your comment is deeply appreciated.
Jan 11, 2008 04:09 PM #21
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainmaker
387,754

Lola Audu

Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!
Can I assist you with a real estate concern right now?
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information