Five pennies for your thoughts

Canadian_Nickel_-_reverseI love to think I’m a good person.

I try to do these grand things that benefit others, but to be totally honest, I’m a broke student, on a limited budget, with limited
patience and understanding. I get frustrated by my day-to-day life; by the ever-increasing loans I have to pay off, by the degree I don’t truly love-or even enjoy- but that will pay the bills, by the rudeness of strangers, by the seemingly infinite greed of the society I immerse myself in. I get frustrated by the traffic of the luxurious cars that I know I will never be able to afford, by the clothes I will never own, by the beautiful places in the world that I will never see. I get frustrated when I see students that are just like me aside from one astronomical difference: they “come from money”.

For a long time, I have associated doing good deeds with monetary value. I have tried to do my part and “pay it forward”; buying diapers for a struggling mother, giving change for the bus, trying to do good when I can. But after a while, it starts to narrow down to money, and the reality of it is that often, I cannot afford it. For me, this was a huge struggle, and my “Karri Hour spirit” became dulled.

This all changed yesterday.

I was in line to buy a bagel at the cafe in the Library and a very exhausted, harried, disheveled girl frantically came to the front of the line. I was really, really annoyed. I had a lot of material to study and not a lot of time and to me- this girl was wasting that time. She breathlessly asked the cashier if she could have a spoon, to which the cashier responded “five cents”. At this point, this girl looked like she could cry, and she responded “please, I am so late, I don’t have change, I really just want to be able to eat my yogurt before I go to work..” The cashier gave a motion to draw me forward, disregarding the spoonless girl. Out of frustration, I gave the cashier five cents, handed the girl her spoon, grabbed my bagel, and attempted to walk out. To be clear, I was not trying to be a good samaritan, I truly just wanted to get this girl out of my way so I could continue on with my day.

This girl turned to me and she gave me the most sincere thank you I have ever received in my life. She told me that I had made her day, and people like me were what made the world go ’round.

All over a five cent plastic spoon.

My main message here is that good deeds come in many shapes and forms, you don’t have to donate thousands of dollars to feel like you have done something good. After all of this, I want to find this girl and thank her for reigniting my belief that, though I am one (broke) person, I too can change the world. You never know when, and how, you can make someones day.

Ashlean Richardson

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