Single Cent Problems: The Truth About The Penny

Single cent problems are easy to come by. They are parking tickets and holes in pockets. They are lost sunglasses, lost keys, and being locked out of your apartment. The truth about them, in the economy, is that they add up. What is a single cent problem today can escalate into a plural cent problem tomorrow. Looking at the history of the penny–and thinking about penny candy and penny for your thoughts and penny culture–is a fun way to examine how to let go of the small stuff and to find meaning and the sense of miracle in something as small as one single cent.

Dropped cents is one of the ubiquitous accents of our daily lives. The old saying, see a penny pick it up; all the day have good luck, constantly plays over our minds as the superstitious or optimistic ones among us pause to pick up the gleaming copper-colored gift that the world spits at us, almost every day. This is the opposite of a single-cent problem: It is a single-cent blessing.
The word coin comes from the Greek, Latin, koine, which was a language, spoken during the day of Jesus, a language inferior to that spoken by the higher class. The word coin then developed, as the coin itself, is "inferior" or smaller than the dollar bill. The measurements of the penny are .75 inches in diameter, .061 inches in thickness. In terms of the signifier, the symbol for the penny increment looks much like a good luck charm itself ¢. For about 100 years, the penny has been made of a material like copper with the picture of Abraham Lincoln, the president who signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves, on the front. As of 2010, the Union Shield, honoring the defense of democracy as well as looking much like a highway or state route sign, has graced the coin, but until then the Lincoln Memorial adorned its back side.
The truth about the penny is that, sometimes small things are the most powerful. If you are one cent short, you still cannot buy whatever it is that your heart desires. A penny can be the difference between a dream realized and a dream deferred. The penny can make, break, grace, and bless the child who is lucky enough to have a penny candy supply nearby. A single penny will buy a piece of hard candy or a caramel; one hundred pennies will buy enough candy to last two weeks. Pennies, like raindrops, add up. Without it, we would have no economic system, not to mention luck, if the old adage holds any water.
The truth about the penny is that the smallest thing can make the biggest difference. And that’s a truth worth learning about.

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