Ken Donaldson and The Quarter Hoarder

Ken Donaldson and The Quarter HoarderI think we have to be not so afraid of scarcity. We have to be willing to give away all things.” ~Sharon Stone

Here’s a story about the dangers of hoarding, but probably not what you’re thinking.

Let me explain…

First let’s get a definition clarified.

Hoard: To collect and store, often secretly and usually unnecessarily, large amounts of things, such as food or money, for future use.

So there I was in downtown St. Petersburg on a beautiful Sunday morning having a nice time with a friend of mine.

However, there are these things called parking meters that require a certain amount of feeding every so often and the one where I parked was getting hungry and was going to run out of time soon.

(Silly me; I didn’t pre-plan to bring quarters…I wonder how many other people have had the same experience on a relaxing Sunday – “I don’t have to think about anything”- morning??)

So I simply asked the waitress if she might have some change I could exchange with her for some dollar bills.

“No…I don’t.”

Okay, so then I got very tactical and asked, “What about the cash register, could you maybe get some change from it?”

“No…we don’t have any extra change.”

Okay, so you’re probably getting a sense of what I might be thinking and feeling at this point, right?!!

How could a business open on a Sunday morning NOT have change?

There could only be one answer: They were hoarding!

(Well, at least that’s the one answer I came up with.)

So during the course of our stay there, our waitress came to our table several times asking if there was anything else we needed.

Half kiddingly (and half very seriously), I responded the same every time, “Do you have any change yet?”

I will say that she was consistent (I think maybe that means she had good boundaries, right?) with her responses, “No,” every time.

So finally I decided that I would need to go to some other places to find some change, but I figured I might have a chance to “pull a quick one” when I paid for the bill.

I walked up to the bar and placed a $20 bill on top of the bill and asked (again) really nicely, “Might you have some extra change?”

Our waitress asked the apparent manager (and now the seeming quarter hoarder) if she could use some of their quarters for my change.

The manager, somewhat begrudgingly, said yes.

So I guess you could say my persistence paid off.

But I believe there are a couple bigger lessons here.

Lesson #1 is about planning.

Any business in downtown St. Petersburg open on Sunday morning should know that there are parking meters and there are bound to be people like myself that are in a very relaxed Sunday mode and may not even think to bring change.

I believe that would be categorized as “good proactive customer service.”

Lesson #2 is something that can be paralyzing if not consciously seen and addressed. 

It’s what I call “The Scarcity Myth.”

It’s the fear of not having enough.

In this rather benign situation, it was the fear of not having enough change to make it through the day.

(Of course, this is only an assumption on my behalf.)

But let’s look at this a bit deeper:

  • Many people fear that there’s not enough love. These people often settle for a relationship beneath their standards and end up creating unnecessary pain and heartache, which could have been easily avoided if they had not let the scarcity fear rule.
  • Many people fear that there is not enough time. They spend their time in a chaotic fervor trying to “do” as much as they can oftentimes much to expense of their health and relationships, both of which could easily be enhanced if they simply prioritized their life and lived according to their priorities (and values).
  • Many people fear that there are not enough opportunities in life. They settle for a job or a career path that slowly drains their passion, energy and optimism for life, and slowly and unconsciously turns them into a rigid, pessimistic and sarcastic cynic.

Yep, the scarcity fear does all that and probably much, much more.

So what’s the moral of the story?

Don’t be a quarter hoarder…be a quarter supporter!

Meaning that it’s always good to plan ahead (lesson #1) and when the opportunity comes, give as freely as you can (lesson #2).

When you hold on to something out of fear, you block energy from flowing to you and you can easily create a self-fulfilling prophecy in which what you fear can become that much truer.

However, when you put trust in the Universe (by the way, the Universe is endless as far as we can tell at this point…slightly “abundant” I would have to conclude) you allow the Universal energy to flow to you.

I know…it takes faith and trust, both of which may be big steps at times.

But what’s the option? Being a quarter hoarder?

Naw!!…be a quarter supporter…start today!

There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love; there’s only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.” ~Wayne Dyer

P.S. After proof-reading this, my assistant just reminded me of lesson #3…Always carry extra quarters in your car.

Yeah, I guess I could have planned ahead too, right?!!


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