Bad habit meets guiding principle

I felt a tug on my arm as I left the number 7 train at Times  I turned to see the woman who had sat across from me. Her hand held a crumpled dollar bill. My crumpled dollar bill.

photo (4) (775x1024)I have a bad habit. Or I probably should say, “Among my bad habits is the fact that I carry bills in my pockets.”

I simply cram them into the pocket. They end up resembling the spit balls that my friends and I used to create in junior high school. Little wads of green.

Some interesting things result.

I receive bemused looks when I pay with cash. I dig into my pocket, pull out what bills are there and straighten them. I have reminded more than one cashier, “It all spends.”

I find little wet wads of green now and then when doing laundry. I delude myself with the line, “Made money again.”

And I drop bills from time to time. It happens. I confess I do not know how often it happens. Sometimes I find the fallen bills. Sometimes, as today, I rely on the kindness of friends and strangers.

When this happens, I come up against one of my guiding principles for money. If I find money, I first try to find the owner. Failing that, I give it away. Coins end up in the hands or cups of strangers on the street. Larger bills usually go to a program addressing hunger in some way. It may feed people or help people feed themselves or work to change the reasons people are hungry in the first place.

I will join today’s dollar to some others and pass them along before the evening ends.

Guiding principles trump bad habits. At least on this one.

See you along the Trail.



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