A song reached out from TV last night, “…the change in my pocket wasn’t enough…” At first it was funny, because in this day of plastic, phone App and PayPal the thought of actual change in someone’s pocket was hard to believe. It made me remember one of the last sounds I would hear at night as a child, my father placing the contents (and change) from his pants pockets on his dresser. I don’t know why it was such a comforting or reassuring sound, but it was and I miss it. Dad was stable, offering reassurance, love, laughter, patience and commitment and yet he was always open to change and another view point. If he taught me one thing it was situations will always change but the soul doesn’t. He simplified it best with “Pretty is as Pretty does” and he was right on the money.
Growing up we didn’t have a lot, since we never missed much, we never noticed. I guess for those who are looking for that missing something money is the answer to change everything. In that respect, I can offer some insight, after working in high level financial worlds, and having both friends and clients, that walked the streets of silver and gold. The illusion, not unlike OZ is wonderful. There truly is the concept of a stairway to heaven, a mix between the one Oral Roberts threatened to stay in for 8 million reasons and the communication nightmare of Nimrod, neither however have a hard rock soundtrack. The people in life who walk these stairs won’t admit it, but they are emptier than our pants pockets – BUT they look and live great doing it.
On a business trip with a self made millionaire (who at age 50 had never walked into a 7-11, let alone eaten watery cheese nachos and a fountain soda) I saw this first hand when our gas tank was as empty, just like his soul. He was disgusted by the feast my friend and I shared as we waited inside the store. We laughed together in a comical communion of cheese, chips and candor making a special memory along the way. Horrified, he commented that the concierge level of our hotel did offer an evening selection of meats, cheeses and pastries so he could wait to dine. My point here is regardless of how much money he had, he couldn’t taste life in the moment or simply change. I still remember those stale chips and laughter, but honestly I can’t remember that hotel or the rest of the trip now to save my soul.
As the years ebbed and flowed through my bank account, life has been great and it has been devastating. What never changed though was who I was, and what life, my family and friends meant to me (thanks dad). What I loved never changed, what I enjoyed never changed – although yes, the location and style did have a “quality” adjustment now and then. When I closed my eyes at night to sleep, the same sleep washed over me and still does today, changing the night into day and giving me another chance to make a difference, right a wrong or change for the better. Money has nothing to do with that process, but being empty inside does, just watch a few of the hundred commercials about what you need or how to change your depression. Don’t get me wrong, depression is a real mental condition, but it is also an oversold fallback position aimed at those who think they should have or deserve more and don’t.
You may not get change back from your dollar anymore, or see it in a virtual account, but you can always use your “common sense” and change something in your life. A random act of kindness each day is more than a deposit in your soul; it is an offering that no church needs to explain regardless of your belief structure. I also know once you start up one of those stairways, where not everything that glitters is gold, common sense becomes just that, “common” because for some sad reason it is important to have the “blueblood” variety as you become upwardly mobile.
Change can be great, if used properly. A little extra money can make you more comfortable each day and your attitude will always make a difference in someone’s life. If you are lucky and have them both, put them together for a winning combination! Regardless, either one alone can do wonders if it is shared. There isn’t an upgrade to purchase when you think of heaven and we all know you can’t take it with you no matter how hard you might try. So find a spare moment to change what you can before those you care about loose interest and compound the situation.