In March I visited Maryland with my oldest daughter for a two-pronged purpose. One was to visit my youngest daughter who is working there and the other was to do a judo clinic. This clinic had been postponed from last October because I tested positive for COVID on the scheduled day of departure. The photo shows my daughter cartwheeling out of my tomoe-nage during one of the sessions.
After a few days there, my daughter wanted to go to a laundromat to wash clothes. While I sat waiting for our clothes to dry, I noticed a mother with two daughters. I imagine that generally those who go to laundromats are either young people trying to make a go in life or families who cannot afford to have a washer/dryer in their home.
My son and daughter often ask me why I don’t give money to those in need. Needless to say, my excuses usually don’t sit well with my children. So I thought it would be nice to give the mother $5 or so.
When I looked into my wallet, all I had were $20 bills. I glanced over and saw a change machine. For whatever reason, I thought that if I put in a $20 it would return smaller denomination bills and I could give her $5. I inserted the $20 bill, and immediately quarters started dropping into the change bin. They kept coming and sounded like I hit the slot machine jackpot in Las Vegas! Instead of receiving small bills, I now had 80 quarters in the palms of my hands. What was I to do with all these quarters??? I peered over to the person working at the shop and thought of asking him to change my quarters back to bills. Instead I looked over to the woman, walked over and laid the 80 quarters on the table, saying “I made a mistake in getting change but want to give this to you.” Puzzled, she asked, “For me???” I nodded my head and walked out the door without saying anything else.
Later when I told this story to my son, instead saying something like, “Great job, Dad!” or “I’m glad you did it,” he remarked matter-of-factly, “It’s about time!”
It may not have been enough to make much of a difference, but at the very least, giving the money gave me a heart of gratitude for what I have, and helped me to want to be more generous to others.