Rusty beans and dusty gold.

One evening, you go to a friend’s house and she has rented a movie. She paid for it, but you get to watch it for free.

You notice a bestseller on the table and ask if you can borrow it. Your friend waves it away and tells you how disappointing it was. Instead, she urges another book on you that you never knew about. That book changes your life.

You have coffee with a friend who offers to introduce you to a colleague with professional experience that dovetails perfectly with yours.

You are on your phone, about to jaywalk. A bicyclist zooms past you and through a red light, almost getting clipped by a taxi. Your heart spasms with adrenaline as you step back on the curb and swallow hard.

You read a memoir of a man who went against the herd to start a business in an industry others had long since abandoned. He struggles, backslides, struggles some more, but by using certain surprising skills, he reverses the trend and creates a successful, beloved business. His book is full of specific descriptions that you can use to pursue your own dream.

You read a review on Amazon for a product you have been considering for a while. The review points out three unusual criteria you had never considered which make you act immediately.

Your mother-in-law smokes like a chimney. At sixty, she is dead of lung cancer. You used to have an occasional cigarette with your second martini. No longer.

You had a parent who withheld affection to the point of abuse.  When you have your own children, you use his behavior as a yardstick, a warning of things never to do.

Distracted, you say something unthinking to your spouse — who gasps aloud. You look up, suddenly aware of what you’ve said, and grow shocked at your own insensitivity.

Your grandfather survived the Great Depression. For the next sixty years, he counts every penny, then dies alone in a shabby house, its basement full of rusting canned goods and thirty pounds of gold bullion.

Every day life offers you a lesson you may or may not notice. What did you learn today? What did you teach someone else?

(Can’t think of anything? Well, that’s why there’s this.)

15 thoughts on “Rusty beans and dusty gold.”

  1. What a great video… thanks for sharing it this morning. My grandmother was the Depression survivor who pinched pennies… sadly no gold in the basement, real pre 1960’s dimes and quarters in the freezer though… lol.


  2. Great post. Keep ’em comin’.

    So funny…I quote that Suncreen song ALL the time. Great lessons. Alas, ever slippery. :o(

    My lesson for today: don’t (ever) speak of innermost feelings of sadness and struggle to “friends” who cannot (or won’t try to) ‘get it.’

    Not unless you want a “try to think positive/hang in there” response.

    Crumbs. Why didn’t I think of that?All better now.

    Ok. Mental dump, over. :o/

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good one, Danny. Focus on the present if it’s the reality you want…
    Sleepy Soul,
    I would like to suggest a small experiment:
    Focus on the sadness, find a friend to help you focus even more, write about it, REALLY focus on it then watch what happens.
    Another time, change your focus slightly and gently do your best to follow the “think positive” advice of those other people by changing your focus to something that feels slightly better for at least 17 seconds and compare the experiences.
    You may be surprised who the real friends are. ❤


  4. Thanks for today’s post! I bought your CB book for my brother (who is not a reader) and he has enjoyed it so much. I will encourage my granddaughter (18) to listen to the commencement speech, thank you again. I LOVE your classroom quote and have added it to my collection of important ones – thank you very much. I’m so glad I follow you and will thank Lorraine Bell.


  5. I don’t get involved in checking emails, etc. BEFORE I’ve started my studio work because then I start my day in “reactive mode.” I change that rule for your Blog as your posts are ones I can read before I start my studio work that won’t distract me. Instead they inspire me to jump right in there and get to work. Cheers-Darlene

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Danny,

    You consistently say a lot of interesting, encouraging, and thought provoking things. Reading your blog is like getting exercise for the brain and spirit. Thank you so much for doing this. Even when it may not seem like it, you are doing a lot of good for a lot of people.


  7. You add above for SBS sounds like you are the only organizer of SBS. Did Koosje give up her part or is this all about ego?


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