About a year and a half ago, I was in church on a Sunday morning, probably catching up on some precious minutes of sleep that had most likely been lost in the rush to get weekend homework out of the way. None of my friends happened to be in service that day, and I had officially lost interest. The only part I remember coming out of my daze for, was the Children’s Message. This is mainly because Larry, a churchgoer who happened to be giving the sermon that day, pulled a handful of dollar bills out of his suit pocket. He challenged the kids to go out and change as many people’s lives as they could with the one dollar he was about to give each of them. I suddenly wished I had embraced my inner child earlier, simply because I wanted a dollar. Now that he had my attention though, I listened to the actual message. He had a good point, about being the change we wish to see in the world, and charity.
After the service, Larry came up to Rachel and me, and gave us both a dollar. “Even though you may be too old for the Children’s Message, you’re never too old to change people’s lives,” was the jist of what he told us. Then he promised he’d check in with us in a few weeks. He never did, which may have been for the better, seeing as Rachel’s dollar went M.I.A. soon after. My dollar, however, has sat at the computer for nearly two years.
It’s wrinkled from my thoughts, which work their way down through my fingers, then mold the dollar into a paper crane, again and again. For every idea I’ve had that I’ve never taken action on with this dollar, a new bird emerges, then unfolds as the idea just doesn’t seem to change enough lives. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve said to myself: “Oh what can you do with a stupid dollar? Nothing! That’s what.” I’ve searched the internet high and low for an idea that might strike some sort of imaginative chord in me, yet turned up empty.
Let’s come back to the dollar in a minute…
Recently, I was faced with a tough decision. Life’s full of them, but this one hit home. Either I march with the Masco band for the Topsfield Fair Parade, or I walk in the Pancreatic Cancer Walk that we’ve walked in the past two years. They occur at the same time, on the same Saturday morning the first weekend in October. Two things I love: music and family, come into play here. But then I think about what it all boils down to. I love to play my instrument, and I do want to play in the band, but I’ve raised so much money for cancer research so far, it’s just such a great thing to reach out to help others. And this makes me think of the dollar. What path can I choose that will change the most lives?
And so the dollar remains taped to my computer, not to go into a homeless man’s pocket, or even a cancer fund. But to inspire me to change others’ lives. For me to be the change I want to see in the world. To simply be the dollar.