Oct 15, 2011


Probably a lot of people do the same - I know for a fact that many of my friends do - namely, to have a coin purse. You know, those lovely, little purses that fit well in the front or back pockets of your jeans, which hold all those coins you wouldn't or can't put in your wallet. The coin purse has an interesing life, with a "basic state", which is usually half-full to rather-empty, but goes towards full and towards "moths and a button" from time to time. It also feeds usually on change - well, that's what you keep in it - with the seldom crumpled low denomination bill and maybe a few recipes from the grocery store.

The coin purse can also be your best ally, when you are in a "less than good" place and you must go to some place to make an important payment, or someone decided to pay you an important amount of money in cash rather than doing a transfer. If the amount can be fitted, you roll up the bills and squeeze them into your trusty, humble coin purse. But these are usually extraordinary cases, as the coin purse usually houses change. You normally don't take out your coin purse to pay for the groceries at the store, nor your pay the fee of the movie rental from your coin purse, nor the movie ticket, nor your clothes or new smartphone, unless, of course, you've prepares ahead the money and put it there. So, what do you think of when looking at your coin purse? What do you usse it for? Here comes the funny thing. 

Up until  now, I used to associate my coin purse with the public transportation. My coin purse was the source to pay the bus fare (in Costa Rica, as well as in many Latin American countries, you still pay the bus fee to the driver in cash). It was also the source to complete the taxi fare above the amount I should pay in bills. In Europe, where you don't pay your bus fare in cash, the change in my coin purse mean a hot coffee or a hot cocoa at some local bistro, or change for a newspaper, a magazine or some candy at some traffic booth or at the nearest gas station. It meant also to eventually do the effort an empty it, count the change and see if I can do something to get rid of it, OR - like my dad and brother do, who have no coin purses - dump it into a jar and leave it there, for taking when needed.

The other day, however, as my coin purse got in my hand, my thought about was "change for the toll fare". The thought came automatically an suddenly I stopped in my track. When had the "bus fare" morphed into "toll fare"? Not that I pass through toll booths all that often, but this change in the way I regarded my coin purse made me think.

As your life changes and your conditions and circumstances change so change the way you see things. That's notthing new, but often we tend to forget about it or dismiss it as something small. If you have worked hard all your life for the things you have, the experiences you've earned, your perception of them is different from that of someone who had the same things given. For instance, if you have competed and worked hard for a good position in your job, you get there with a certain degree of appreciation, and knowing all you had to do and endure to be there, you'll make sure to keep it, continue working hard to prevail in that position. BUT if you've got to that position because you have a friend, and that friend has power and offers you protection, and part of that protection is that awesome job, then you can't care less about that position, but you will do your best to stay in the grace of your friend so they keep you protected, and if you fail at your job and you must go, your friend will get you a better position. It's the same job, just as it is the same coin purse and the same change in it, BUT the way you relate to it change.

As it happens, people for instance relate differently to life after a near-death experience, or after the death of someone close to them. It also can explain how people who started a path together, but have different circumstances and different experiences end up seeing the same thing in very different lights. Among other things, this coin purse made me think of my friends, and how some of them don't see the things the way I do and how I often struggle to understand what the heck are they seeing when I see something completely different. In the end, it's the same coin purse, but one of us see the future contents of a coin jar that eventually will make it to a bank, another sees teh chance to buy a couple of cigarets, or a cup of coffee ot a shot of vodka on the way home, to pay the bus fare, buy some candy, get the morning paper, make it for the next issue of their favorite magazine, or may the toll fare.

Let's not forget that we all start on the same place.

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