Pennies for Prejudice

Black ink drawing: Woman with hearts in her hair strewing stars

[useful absurdity for a peaceful heart]

My latest idea to save the world came, as usual, while wearing glasses that prompt a view of life that is playful, loving and deep.  How else do you find an idea named  “Pennies for Prejudice”?

It begins with a little gizmo to be invented by a roomful of ruthless saints doubling as computer wonks.  It ends by serving anyone who wants to grow a more peaceful heart while also generating the heavy green needed to bankroll a bunch of those honorable initiatives the world cries for?

The gizmo makes note of every time we pass judgment based on a belief we hold with lockjaw conviction that such-and-such is how things “are” or “ought to be”.  (Convictions, after all, being the enemy of wonder, a key ingredient of a life rich in possibility.)

For instance, this gizmo would sense anytime we’re angry––since anger is an expression that things aren’t going as we think they should.  (Basically, anger is us playing God, always an iffy proposition.  “What!  People are not behaving according to my design?  Off with their noggins!!!”)

Anyway, the gizmo works only when we’re awake and only for one hour a day.  And every time we judge during that hour we’re charged a penny.  Unless we’re rich; then it’s a nickel.

Why just one hour a day?  And why such a small fee?  Any more and a lot us would be approaching broke pretty quick.  And since most of us are judgment junkies, even at a penny a pop there soon will be scratch aplenty for just about any noble endeavor you can dream up.

Besides, the real goal is realizing how much we judge.  From there, maybe we’ll be inspired to discover how our judgments limit us, and that loosening our attachment to them leads to greater resilience––always useful in creating happiness.Imagine going just one minute without judging.

Imagine simply being present to whatever thoughts and feelings arise without having to categorize, assess, label, condemn, approve, like, dislike or fix.  Some folks meditate for years to experience that minute.

And the benefit?  Embracing and understanding whatever life presents at a deeper level because we are that much less infatuated with our own stories.

Spend an hour a day with the “Pennies for Prejudice” gizmo and it’s only a matter of time before you change the world…from the inside out.

Meanwhile, let us send a cheer of the heart to Albert Einstein for his reminder, “If at first an idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.”


  1. Well, I see mountains of pennies springing up everywhere, growing quickly. Love the words, “Embracing and understanding whatever life presents at a deeper level because we are that much less infatuated with our own stories.” Those few words can take me out of a small place to a place both large and comforting. Thanks for putting your words out into the world. May they go far and wide.

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"I honor that we are killing the earth for the same reason I consider being an alcoholic a privilege: it is a doorway to the profound self-understanding required to make truly healthy choices."

The Essay: Honoring the Killing of the Earth