The Quarter

The QuarterWhat has more value?

A million dollars or a quarter?

Which buys you more happiness?

The quarter can if it is your last and you give it to someone in need.

This trumps the million every time.

Sometimes life can be very unfair. Sometimes life can be very painful. Sometimes some have to check out early on their own. Those are tragic, private stories.

Sometimes all we choose to remember is the bad that we did. One will never forget the first bad thing. Like a child stealing a quarter. Still remembered silently on one’s death bed. The guilt carried all one’s life.

Many try different streets to outdistance the bad one has done, the hurt caused to others. Streets of arrogance, drugs, or denial.

There ultimately are two streets left. Death or Truth. Truth comes from accepting your weakness and asking forgiveness. Truth comes from learning that bad is not good. That good is helping others, no strings attached. Uniqueness is forged through adversity. It is not a gift. You do not become who you were meant to be without pain and private suffering.

I know a man who never has forgotten the 25 cents he took when a child. Haunting him throughout the years and nights.

I, a complete stranger, said “I forgive you”. That he was special in his remorse. That his new life will be brighter as he had found humility and focus. His work shows it. No compromise any more.

Maybe I should put a ribbon on a quarter and pin it to his overall’s pocket?


Chris Bent, former Navy SEAL UDT-21, is the author of 11 books. Troubled by all the pain and injustice in the world he is driven to write in brief chapters that touch universal truths. Helping us search and find where we are meant to go. Helping us make a difference. Helping us not to quit. Hopefully.

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