Life’s Coupons

I don’t know about y’all but in our daily paper at least twice a week I’m overwhelmed by coupons. Primarily coupons for things I don’t want or need, but even if I were to devote the time they hardly seem worth the effort. So usually the coupons section of the paper is dumped in the recycling bin as soon as it arrives. I know I am supposed to go through them carefully and keep a notebook just like the person who does and I inevitably get behind in the check out line, but I don’t.
I may have to rethink my laziness. I noticed the other day a young couple struggling to pay for the diapers and groceries they  needed. They were going to have to  start excluding some of the groceries they had in their cart to make ends meet when a lady with one of those notebooks walked up to them and offered to  help. To the chagrin of the check out lady and the amazement of every one else in line the lady started going through her notebook handing coupons to the clerk and before you could say Jack Robinson the young couple could afford all their groceries. They thanked the lady profusely, but she said “Think nothing of it, I’ve been in your shoes.” Several of us made it a point to thank the woman as well for making us all feel a little guilty and privileged.
This scene got me to thinking. Its not just about grocery coupons. What else do each of us have that we toss aside believing they have no value, but could be used by others. I need to search the Internet for people who take coupons and distribute them to people who are on food assistance. Maybe we need to go through our closets and pantry more often for food drives and clothes we don’t wear. ( As I write this I worry about my lawn mowing shirt, but then again Suzy would say not even a homeless person would want that shirt.)
More importantly than coupons, clothes, or food what about those talents that go to waste everyday because we believe they have no value. I suspect whatever we possess has some value to someone somewhere if I simply took the time to search for a use.
No, you probably won’t see me in the Harris-Teeter with a coupon book, but maybe starting today I need to pay more attention to what I discard and find where it has value and put the two together. We all have life’s coupons, wouldn’t if be wonderful if we started passing them out instead of putting them in a trash bin.

About the author

Webb Hubbell is the former Associate Attorney General of The United States. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller. His latest, “Light of Day” will be on the bookstands soon.

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