Lint, a small pocket knife, two quarters, three pennies, a lighter and an almost worn down chapstick. When I worked at my corporate job that was common. Then a few years after that, I went out on my own and started my own business. I was in sales for the most part. We all are. Every day. I carried with me 5 paperclips in my left pocket. Every sale I went on, every person I talked to that day about my business was one paperclip moved to my right pocket. I wouldn’t finish my day until they all jumped from left to right.
From March to May, most days are practice plans or lineup cards that find a home in my pockets. And a pen to make changes. Always a pen.
Then there is teaching. My keys to my office and my phone are held onto in my front right pocket until class is over. I don’t like them to fall out or take up space. Although when I sit, if they dig in, I place them onto the desk in my classroom. Then there is nothing. A place for my hand when it gets tired of hanging there.
As of this last weekend, I added something to my pocket. I am carrying around my FTR creed which I wrote out and carry with me. Just reaching in and touching it, no matter what I am doing, is a serene calm that washes over me, one fiber of my being at a time. I feel like I am home.
The Great Depression was a time and place I have only read about in an 8th grade history class and maybe heard a few stories once or twice from my grandmother, harping on how bad things were when they were younger. There seemed always to be something to harp on…how they stood in line for bread or how when times were really rough, they put cardboard box tops in their shoes to make them last longer when they would wear out. I think I have heard my mother tell that same story. Or how I was out late the night before and made sure my mom knew what time I came in, or the fact that my elbows were on the table at some point last week. Oh nana, God bless you…may you rest in peace.
Bing Crosby sang a song written in 1931 during the depression. You may have heard of it… “Brother can you spare a dime”
It goes like this:
“They used to tell me I was building a dream, and so I followed the mob,
When there was earth to plow, or guns to bear, I was always there right on the job.
They used to tell me I was building a dream, with peace and glory ahead,
Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread?
Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time.
Once I built a railroad; now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime?”
This seems relatable in these times. Things are hard for some people. Money is hard to come by. Jobs are few. Extra is not normal.
I think though, it is so much more about what we choose to do with the money we have. What we choose to spend our dimes on. What we choose to spend our time on. It’s all a choice. Obviously, when you have it to make choices about. We also choose what we can spare, what we feel we can give out into the universe on any given day. The “dime” doesn’t have to be money. It can be your heart… your words of inspiration, your gift of love to someone who needs it today.
So I am wondering… What’s in your pockets? And can you spare any of it? Is it holding you down? Is it what you need to survive tomorrow? Can you give it away? Or is it even what you WANT? OR… are they empty? Maybe tomorrow, you will try replacing the emptiness with a picture of your baby while you are at work to remind you of your WHY. Maybe you will make a to do list and carry it with you so you can make sure you get to everything you need to. Maybe you can find a way to make a healthy grocery list instead of just walking in and buying whatever jumps off the shelf at you when you are hungry. OR, perhaps you will write down the FTR creed and carry that with you too. So you can find new inspirations during the day to be audacious, to see yourself and others…. to be a nexus, to follow the Kaizen path. To change the world. One piece of lint, one paperclip, one penny, one moment at a time. It’s all we have. It’s our choice. What you put in your pockets is what you carry with you every day. You get to choose that.
So I will ask you again… what’s in YOUR pockets, Brother? And can you spare a dime?