We used to have this big, green, rocking armchair in my living room. I remember rocking in it with my mom in the mornings and sometimes when I was sick. In most of my early memories of visits from my Granddaddy and Grandma, my Granddaddy is sitting in that chair. When they would leave to drive back to Texas, Brooke and I would wave at the screen door, then – shortly after we mourned the loss of their company – we’d run upstairs to check under the cushions of that green chair for all the change that had inevitably fallen out of my grandpa’s pockets as he rocked in there.
I’m not sure how we initially found out about that phenomenon, but we did. Granddaddy had left, but his presence was still felt in the coins we looted from the chair.
Sometimes it seems like we don’t leave much with people. Sometimes I feel like my presence and words and influence is like a few pennies dropped between cushions. Sometimes when I try to make a difference or speak up, I feel like I’m throwing pennies at people – which they aren’t inclined to catch because it’s not worth much and requires concentration to catch it.
It’s easy to feel like you leave no mark on the world at large with your contribution. It’s easy to feel like you’re only dropping pennies, that you leave nickels and dimes for other people. And, really, what can nickels or dimes buy these days?
Granted, if we add up all those nickels and dimes, if we all were dropping pennies of change, it would mean a lot more. But does that mean that we have to wait for the whole world to decide to speak truth and make a change to do anything of significance?
Maybe people are like piggy banks. Maybe when pocket change is dropped in consistently, over a long period of time, it eventually gets to a point where they have to empty what has been poured into them. Maybe the weight is overbearing or they realize the impact of what they carry.