Your Most Valuable Currency

When it comes to currency, what are you carrying around with you every day? If someone asked you to empty your pocket, brief case, or purse what would they see? What might those items reveal about you as a person? If you don’t mind, dig in now and see what you find. Think about these items and the importance they hold in your life as well as what they say about you. When you leave the house for the day, what do you make sure you bring with you?

Think about each item and ask yourself, how important are each of these items?

Debit or credit card: Yes, that piece of plastic can bring about instant gratification for our wants as well as the necessities. How many do you have in your wallet? What if you were without your “cards” for one day. Would you survive? Most likely you would.

Cash: Like your debit or credit card, cold hard cash facilitates our daily wants and needs. What is your philosophy about how much you carry with you? What does the amount you carry say about you?

Driver’s license: What does your ID say about you? While it shares some personal information about us (hair color, height, weight, home address) it would be hard for someone to learn much about us simply by looking at it. It certainly says nothing about how we live our lives or what we believe.

Address book:  Perhaps you have an actual address book, is yours full? Or maybe your phone serves as your address book. I’m guessing it includes contact information for your good friends, family members, colleagues, your doctor, your barber or hair stylist, and more. Some of these individuals know you well. Are there a few that truly know who you are at your core and understand your values? Or, perhaps in place of an address book someone could look at your Facebook page to find a list of your friends. Our address book and/or Facebook friends can offer a glimpse into who we are as we often associate with others who have values similar to our own.

I received this on my Facebook page a few months ago. . .it does make me smile. facebook 

A book: We may choose books that challenge our intellect and expand our perspectives, or perhaps they relax or entertain us. Books allow us to dream, think, and reflect. Books add substance to life, to conversation, to relationships. Books can open up the world for us and take us outside our “bubble.” The books we choose can help define (and in some cases, refine) who we are at our core. An acquaintance once suggested, “Give me five minutes to walk around a person’s house, see the books on their shelves and what they read, and I will tell you a great deal about who they are.”

Cell phone: Depending on how it is used, our cell phone may hold greater value than we truly appreciate. Yes, we can contact others quickly with a call or a text. And while many of us may feel we’d be lost without our phones, in truth, our phones, like the other items listed above are simply tools, impersonal forms of “currency.” While none of these items are critically important in defining who we are, they are, arguably, necessary for making our 21st century living a little easier.

I believe there is another kind of currency that brings relevance to our lives, a currency that is far more valuable than anything else referenced, a currency that, like a brand, reflects who we are in the world.

What is the currency that defines who we truly are, not just what we do or have—What currency reflects what is at our core and can positively impact those around us?


Integrity – Do you do what is right regardless of whether there’s someone watching?

Trust – Do you do what you say and say what you do? Do those around you know you can be counted on?

Loyalty – Do you stand by those around you, are you an ardent supporter of your friends and associates? Will you tell them when they are right and when they are wrong?

Passion – As defined by Encarta, passion is “the object of somebody’s intense interest or enthusiasm.” Are you committed with enthusiasm to a person, purpose, cause, or idea? Are you eager and enthused to see results and to help others succeed? Can you express yourself through an attitude, behavior, or intense action?

Faith – Do you believe in a higher power? Do you believe what you cannot touch and have faith that we are not in absolute control? Do you have a belief that guides your attitudes, behavior, decision making and how you interact with others?

Compassion – Compassion, according to Encarta can be defined as having “sympathy for the suffering of others, often including a desire to help. I may challenge the word “sympathy” as it can portray a negative connotation, I feel that “empathy and active, intentional care” is a better way to define it. To have compassion is to have a caring heart that is selfless and outward in how we live our lives.

Lastly, I would like to add LOVE to this list of currencies that define, shape, and reveal who we truly are at our core.

Fill your pockets with real and lasting currency! Are you happy or content with the amount of currency you’re carrying around with you, the kind that defines and shapes who you are? What could you do to increase it?


8 thoughts on “Your Most Valuable Currency

  1. “Give me five minutes to walk around a person’s house, see the books on their shelves and what they read, and I will tell you a great deal about who they are.” Bob–I do this all the time! In addition to telling something about the person, it is a great conversation starter–“I see you have a book about _____” What do you think of the subject?” You will usually find a common interest–far beyond talking about the weather or sports.

    One of your best columns to date!


  2. Bob-
    We strongly suggest that you take a look in the mirror. While you gauge your “blog” by visitors, as if you had a flock or a fandom, but you must understand that most of these visitors are here for it’s comedic value; how on earth could someone be so narcissistic?

    Your “service”/“mission” trips that you post extensively about, how exactly do those benefit the residents of your destination? Is the experience truly a benevolent one? Most of the time, short-term mission trips are purely about the traveler, making themselves feel better about themselves because they spent some time in a place much less luxurious then they are used to.

    Now, forgive me if we are wrong (emphasis on WE), but do you have any special skills to share with these people? You are not perhaps a vocational instructor that can teach construction trades to local residents, you aren’t a physician or dentist that can provide medical services to the underserved, and with all due respect, at 65+ years old, what sort to labor advantage can you bring? If a ravaged country has yet one thing, it’s labor resources of its young and middle aged, and their passion to restore ones own country.

    Add up the finances, Bob. The flight, the last night dinner in the local resort, all of the associated minor expenses; how many mouths could you feed with that same 2-3 grand? Can you honestly look at yourself in the rear view mirror of your BMW, as you leave the airport parking lot, and tell yourself that you’re doing good?

    How many times have you seen a serviceman or servicewoman boast about their tours of duty for their own personal gain? Yes, those who have been severely wounded in combat sometimes use their experiences post-war to help lift up their comrades who are in much darker places, but it’s never for their own personal gain.

    Those that post their perceived “greatness” on social media platforms, do they really do it for those they want to appear to serve? You are not famous, and you are not a celebrity. You don’t have thousands of followers who you are trying to rally behind your cause. We don’t say this to be mean or cruel, but we do hope that you’ll “check yourself, before you wreck yourself”.

    Bob, please, ask yourself again what humility and compassion is. This is not it. This is a joke and an insult to all of those who quietly serve others.


    • Well written and worthy of deep personal thought and consideration. As in all criticism and thoughts, I do not agree with all that is said, however I will examine the emotion and observations and adjust as appropriate. Thank you for your insight and observations and will deeply consider what was written.


  3. To “Anon”

    “While you gauge your “blog” by visitors, as if you had a flock or a fandom, but you must understand that most of these visitors are here for it’s comedic value; how on earth could someone be so narcissistic?” I don’t believe Bob writes his thoughts for notoriety–or even keeps count of page visits.

    Sometimes, the most important reason for creating or participating in a blog discussion is not to influence others (YOUR reason, apparently) but to formulate and articulate your own position–whether anyone reads it or not. Bob isn’t suggesting that everyone else MUST do as he does–only relating what is important to HIM. It is the anonymous writer that is out of line in trying to impose his ideas upon others–that all other ideas are unacceptable to HIM. Bob doesn’t do that–re-read his post–he only makes SUGGESTIONS for others to CONSIDER.

    I agree that it is easier to simply be a “checkbook liberal”–simply send money in to have others disperse it. That works for most of us. Others prefer that government take care of aid–without oversight or involvement. That doesn’t work as well.

    I’ll even agree that many times, having volunteers on site to do a project isn’t the best way to go–you could pay union wages to accomplish goals– sometimes for LESS money than the donor spent–but who are WE to say how a donor spends their money?

    Consider the Peace Corps–ALSO people committed to helping overseas. Would you discourage people from participating in THAT way?

    There is a certain amount of satisfaction in actually SEEING where your money is spent, and EXPERIENCING the good it will do. This ties the donor into a project–sometimes for life. The donor makes friends with people in the country, and with other donors. They may even bring others into the project. They are COMMITTED.

    It reminds me of the old saw about the difference between participation and commitment–as demonstrated by a ham and eggs breakfast–“The chicken is PARTICIPATING–but the hog is COMMITTED!”


    • Jim, nice response to “Anon” that was thoughtful and accurate. My sister was a major supporter of Habitat and saw and experienced the value of “hands on” volunteer work, not only for the recipient, but the volunteer. Something that Anon clearly has not experienced.

      I agree with your comments made on my behalf.

      I take all comments with an open mind, however value comments from “identified” writers more seriously…. I love serious face to face discussions on differing points of view and perspectives and will honor others opinions, but feel no obligation to always agree.


  4. “I love serious face to face discussions on differing points of view and perspectives…. ”

    I know you do–I’ve disagreed (agreeably) with you before! I’ll make it a point to do so again! (laugh)


    • Jim, i have always appreciated not only your willingness to disagree, but the agreeable nature you can do it, non offensive, thoughtful and not attacking in words or tone. A skill that too few have.

      I also am often inquisitive as to a single persons use of “WE” when expressing an opinion.

      Keep challenging me Jim, as with every challenge there is value received.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s