Thursday, July 1, 2010

What is the value of a Toonie & a Loonie?

My son told me about a kind woman he met the other day. She found a toonie and a loonie on the floor and since my son was working nearby, she offered it to him. Her behaviour confused him; there was no way to determine who dropped the change so he asked her why she didn’t just keep the money for herself. He can’t recall her exact reply but the way he explained it me, I think she wanted to share this vital lesson: “you get what you give.”

My son was quite happy to get what she gave. But what I suggested to him later is that she probably enjoyed the giving part more than keeping the money. In other words, the lesson was not just for him, it was for her too. Let me explain.

Question: what do you have to get in order to be happy?

There are so many answers. Wealth? The perfect career? The ideal spouse? A Ford Mustang Shadow? Botox? "If” we do such-and-such, “then” such-and-such will happen and happiness will result, right?

But according to Professor Srikumar.S. Rao, “there is nothing that you have to get, be or do to be happy.” Unfortunately though, he thinks the majority of people are overwhelmed with getting, being or doing and yet still feel unhappy. He supposes we tend to focus on the outcome instead of the process. He suggests that we put our passion in the process and if the outcome is good, that’s great and if it’s not, that’s okay too.

For example, how many people invest in the weight they want to be instead of enjoying how they feel when they eat less? How many of us might have an Ipod, but uh-oh, now we need an Ipad? Why not just enjoy the Ipod while we have one? That’s happiness.

I think my son’s kind stranger knows this. How many of us would have pocketed that money? She used an opportunity to make someone else happy and the by-product was a sweet moment of happiness just for herself.

I think it’s true. We get what we give and that often nets us so much more than the $3 we thought we needed.

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