A Wacky Idea Makes "Cents"

"Brother, Can you spare a dime?" was a song written at the height of the depression by E. Y. "Yip" Harburg and Jay Gorney in an attempt to ask the question, "Why have I been abandoned?" I know that feeling. Hard work, as my parents taught, is its own reward, but 'brother' or 'sister' can't you spare a dime? Some time?
     So, when I heard the NPR story about Reed Sandridge's "hobby" of giving away $10 a day, I was intrigued. Especially since I learned that he started doing it after he lost his job. An employed person might be hard put to give away a dollar these days, but when an unemployed person gives away $10 a day!, it makes you take notice. Sandridge says he expects nothing from doing it but a good feeling, yet he does more than that. When the person who Reed decides to bestow $10 on shuns the gift because they feel they either don't deserve it or need it, he tells them to give away if it makes them feel better. But, rain or shine, Sandridge shares a $10 bill with someone. He speaks of doing it because of his mother, daughter of coal miner, who taught him that when you're going through hard times, that is when you most need to give.
      So, what's $10 worth? Well, I looked up what ten cents bought in 1932. For ten cents, you could buy a gallon of gas. You could buy a 5-lb bag of potatoes. So, I wondered, what can you get with $10? Well, according to the information reported, this is what people spent the $10 on: Food. Transportation. Gave to others. Shared with others. Even some refused the money. I believe that  Reed is doing wacky peacemaking. Don't think otherwise. Can he afford it? The better question is, does it matter? I believe it does because it says that we can all give without expecting anything. And $10 may not seem like a lot, but we know that it matters. So, here's to you, Reed ... for taking a wacky idea and making it a reality. You give me hope. P.K.

      You can view Reed's blog at Year of Giving. You might learn something.


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