This I Believe

Albert - Plymouth, Michigan
Entered on October 2, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

The Human Heart Vs. The Dollar Bill

Less than a year after high school ended, I went to work for a home improvement retail store as a lot attendant. I was the man that kept the parking lot clean and assisted the customers with loading up their merchandise into their vehicles. It wasn’t a career, but it was a way to make ends meet for the time being.

One sunny afternoon, a man approached me wanting some help putting some drywall into his truck. Right off the bat, he was arrogant and rude, to which I could not understand why. No matter, you can’t please everybody, so I finished the job and went on my way.

Immediately afterward, an elderly woman had stopped me asking for my assistance. Before I even had a chance to react, the drywall guy had suddenly appeared in a blink of an eye, and started to load up her car. With a grateful smile extending ear to ear, the woman offered the drywall guy a five dollar bill for his troubles. He looked at the five, then at her, and then straight into my eyes. A smile cracked his lips as he proudly proclaimed “That’s ok ma’am, I don’t need your money. I make over $100,000 a year.” With that, he turned around and strolled confidently over to his truck.

In retrospect, I don’t hold any resentment towards that man. In fact, I would thank him if I was given the opportunity. I would thank him for helping me form a personal belief of mine. A belief that has strengthened over time. For too long, people have been judged by the size of their bank account and not by the size of their hearts. Economic inequality is a disease that exists all over the world. The richest people I’ve met have turned out to have the poorest attitudes and the poorest people I’ve met have turned out to have the richest attitudes. I think that the world would be a better place if, with all issues of the dollar bill put aside, we all treated one another as human beings with dignity and respect. This, I believe.