“Find a penny, pick it up; all day long you will have good luck.” 

Admit it. You have done this. You have picked up a penny, hoping for good luck. Any why not?  We could all use some of that stuff. But where did this penny phrase come from? 

Some say the origins of the superstition stem from ancient times when metals were believed to offer protection from evil and harmful spirits, according to psychiclibrary.com. When coins began to be used for currency, those who had a lot of them were considered wealthy or “lucky.” Thus, the accumulation of money translated into good fortune.

But does it matter if the penny is found heads up or tails up? According to the same website, if you see a penny on the ground with heads up, you should pick it up to experience good luck. If the penny faces tails up, you could pick it up and turn it over for the next person, but you should not take it with you, as you will be bringing bad luck to yourself.

I was inspired to research this superstition after receiving a note from my friend Pat, who was shopping for groceries recently. When checking out, Pat accidentally dropped a quarter and a penny on the floor. He was able to pick up the quarter but struggled to get a fingernail under the penny to do the same. To prevent holding up the line, Pat gave up on the penny and left it on the floor. 

Meanwhile an employee of the store proceeded to wheel Pat’s groceries out to his car and place them in his trunk. Pat said this seemed to take a bit longer than normal, but he didn’t think much about it. When he reached home and unloaded his groceries, he found a penny in the bottom of one of the bags. Pat was so impressed with this gesture that he drove back to the store to tell the young man thank you and to inform the manager about this deed. The young man said, “I noticed you dropped your penny, sir, and I happened to have an extra one in my pocket.”

It made sense for the store employee to do this, and it made a cent for Pat, too. For the rest of us, it is a reassuring reminder that good people do still exist. This young man’s parents, and his employer, should be proud. 

Have a terrific Tuesday, and, as always, thank you for reading.

Shane Goodman
Editor and Publisher
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