I’m in a bar, when suddenly a half-drunk man comes up to me and asks me the following question: “If you were a coin, which coin would you be?” It’s a very random question at a very random moment. But I can’t let it go. Because if I were a coin, what coin would I be? Would I be a two euros, because I have a heart of gold? Would I be a one euro cent because I’m invisible and worth nothing? Would I be a twenty cents because I look unique? Would I be a ten cents because I am a ten? Or just five cents, because I’m just not enough? Would I be a one euro piece because I always present myself beautifully on the outside, but often feel gray inside? Or would I be a fifty cents, used for anything and everything?
If I were a coin, I would be a two euro cents.
Of all the coins you can choose, the two euro cents. A coin that often lies on the ground in front of a supermarket, accidently dropped by someone and got dirty through the rain and sand and is almost even less popular to pick up than that dirty, wet, gritty left glove that someone lost and which is right next to it. Only a toddler would pick it up out of curiosity or interest, only to be whistled back by her mother and forced to put it back because everything on the ground is dirty. With a bit of luck, the toddler will pick it up a little later, during a moment of inattention on the part of the mother. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait for the homeless person, or even the street newspaper seller to pick it up, because they can use every two cents. The two euro cents with these other misfits, who also wonder what place they actually occupy in society. What a coin.
And yet I’d be a two euro cents.
Such a forgotten and unnecessary coin in someone’s wallet, that the person only has in it because he once got it back as change on holiday in Germany, and then kept it anyway, but which takes up unnecessary space between all the other coins proportion to its value. And besides the fact that the two cents takes up unnecessary space, it is also less and less usable and is desired in fewer and fewer places. Almost everyone would rather lose the two cents than have it.
And still I’d be a two euro cents.
The bell is ringing. Quickly see who’s at the door. It’s someone with a collection box; a collectioner. In a hasty panic, grab the wallet to see if some money can be given. Two euros is too much, one euro as well actually. But oh, luckily there are still some cents and double cents. Rescuers! Heroes! Now the collectioner doesn’t have to be uncomfortably sent away without having given money, and at the same time, you don’t have to give too much money. Those worthless, redundant coins that take up space unnecessarily in the wallet and are no longer useful for anything are welcome in at least one more place; a fundraising for a good cause.
Why would anyone even want to be a two euro cents?
And there I go; from the wallet via two fingers through the slot of the collection box, between all fellow, between all companions. Some euros, but especially a lot of cents. All together on the way to somewhere. I don’t know where, it could be anywhere. En route to poor countries to provide food and medicine. On the way to hospitals to help doctors develop medicines for serious illnesses. En route to foundations that want to offer people shelter. On the way to prevent future people from getting sick. On the road to make the world a better place, no matter how small my contribution is.
Maybe everyone should be a two euro cents.
The two eurocents are dying out. Like the one euro cent, it has fallen into disuse, it is no longer welcome anywhere, but the one cents are so common that you can’t just get rid of it, unlike the two cents. And despite that little bit that I contribute as two euro cents to a better world, nobody knows that I did it; my contribution to that is too small and behind the scenes. But there are still people who do appreciate the two euro cents; numismatists, or collectors of coins. The lack of one coin leads to a search for that coin, to find that coin. And once that coin is found, it will be well cared for and protected, because it is part of the collection. Nothing dirty on the street, nothing small contribution, nothing behind the scenes; a life in the spotlight and full of love.
If I were a coin, I’d be a two cents; not worth much to many people, invisible perhaps even superfluous, but of great value to the right people for whom I mean something.
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