Flip a Penny…

Lorna - Clarendon Hills, Illinois
Entered on October 29, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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Flip a Penny…

Being happy isn’t having everything in your life be perfect. As a child I always thought that you had to have all you wanted to be happy. Growing older, though, I have realized that it isn’t about happily ever after. It’s about being here, in the now, and finding something in this moment that can make you happy. Whether it be figuring out that you can actually write your name with your left hand, hearing a word that makes you laugh, or finding a dollar in the pocket of that pair of pants you wore last week, it’s about stringing together all the little things and making those count for more than the bad stuff.

It took me a long time to realize that if you don’t appreciate the small things in life you’re missing out on a lot. I had always been focused on going from one big moment from the next and ignoring everything in between. Occasionally I would notice a little detail here and there but I never paid much attention to them. Then one day that all changed. There were no fireworks in the sky, no near death experiences, no anything really. All it took was one little penny. One Abe Lincoln staring up from the floor. One small bronze coin dropped by someone in too much of a hurry to notice. I picked up the penny and dropped it in my bag without a second thought. As I was walking away I wondered why I let that moment go by so insignificantly. I had just found free money. Granted it was only one cent, but nonetheless, free money. Why didn’t that make me happier? It was because I didn’t care. I couldn’t be bothered to make the effort to be happy about finding that penny. The more I thought about it the more I realized that if I could be cheerful about my free cent I could be happy about a lot of other things. And wouldn’t that make me better-off in the long run?

I decided that I would try it. I would make a conscious effort to be content with the little things. Over time it became second nature to me. I stopped thinking and the joyfulness came by itself. I started to believe in the joy of small moments. It sounds unbelievably corny but it’s true. Now when those “insignificant” moments happen I smile to myself and am happy because I should be. There is no reason why any good thing should pass you by. And that’s why whenever I see a face down penny I make sure to flip it over so someone else can be happy too. And the ones that are already face up? Well, its free money so what are you going to do?