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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

See a penny pick it up, and all day you'll have good luck

If you see a penny on the ground, do you stop to pick it up?  If not a penny, then a nickel, or a dime, or a quarter? At what point will you stop to bend over and pick it up?  There are a lot of people who don't want to bother with picking up pennies.

Our family plays a little game, a scavenger hunt of sorts, when we travel.  Mostly we play this when we're in airports and waiting for our flight.  (You have to be at the airport so early now, we often find ourselves with little to do for an hour or so.)  We comb the airport gift shop floors for coins to see how many we can find.  Mostly we find coins on the floor right in front of the main cash register counter.  But also, many coins are dropped in the clear lucite candy and magazine racks that sit right at the cashier.  We often spy them readily, sitting there right in front.  We've also been known to find coins under and around the vending machines.

This last trip we found 88 cents.  Not too bad.  But our record was on a weekend trip to Disneyland.  We found $5.18.  Would you stop to pick up a $5 bill?


  1. Grace (Lili's daughter)May 26, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    I agree; it is a great way to pass the time in the airport. Another good place to find pennies is at the phone booths (which, due to the advent of cell phones, are now sinking into obscurity): people sometimes forget to pick up their change after they're done with their call, and one can sometimes find up to thirty cents--maybe even fifty--in the slot where the change falls. I do doubt if this is really ethical, though, and I feel a qualm sometimes when I retrieve the money through this means.

    1. Hmmm. . .is it ethical to collect change that someone else has left behind or lost? There are some things that "frugal" people do in the name of being frugal, that I find (and most people would agree) just isn't right.
      Going to McDonalds, buying one order of fries, but taking enough packets of ketchup to last you a year. Now that's abusing the system, whether or not you think McDonalds is one big huge corporation selling food that's not the best, nutrition-wise to an unsuspecting public. Pilfering ketchup doesn't convince a large corporation to put the public's interests first.
      "Borrowing" your neighbor's newspaper every Sunday morning, before they're up, reading it, then putting it back, without ever having their permission, this isn't just tacky, but very unethical.
      Back to the question of, is it ethical to collect someone's change that has been left behind or dropped. If you know or even suspect you know who the money belongs to, it is your duty as another human being to offer it back. Meaning, if you're in line at the bakery, you see/hear someone drop a coin. It's only fair to pick it up and give it back to them. We treat people as we wish to be treated ourselves. The Golden Rule.

    2. Grace, I forgot to add, if the coin is just sitting there, and you have no idea who it could belong to, and it is in a public place, (if you find a coin at a friends house, then obviously it belongs to someone who lives in that household), then yes, its ethical to keep it, IMO.


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