Daniel Mai


A nicked quarter I found on the road

I was walking home the other day and I found this beat-up quarter on the road.

It reminded me of scars, and how they shape and define us.

Someone who doesn’t have any scars—and by that, I mean mistakes—doesn’t really get noticed. Those who don’t make mistakes are in a “perfect world.” They don’t know what can and will go wrong.

Past mistakes guide us through life. They help us discern good and bad situations, and how to best make decisions.

Sure, the quarter would be praised for being pristine, but there’s nothing special about it. It’s put in the pocket as any other quarter would. There’s no history engraved into it. It’s just money.

But this jagged quarter is different. I moved my fingers around the quarter and felt its nicked edges. I thought about what this quarter had been through. Having found it on the road, it’s likely that many cars drove over it, being pounded against thousands of pounds of speeding rubber between rough asphalt. And it first got onto the crosswalk because someone threw it there, or someone dropped it by accident.

This quarter is what it is because of where it’s been and what it’s been through.

And that goes for all of us.