“It’s Only Ten Cents”

I’m in the library, and I need and I need to make a copy. It jams, and it’s not the first time. No big deal, right? I ask someone to help me. The student aide fixes the paper jam, and I swipe my card one more time. Yup, it’s jammed again.

Normally, this wouldn’t bug me. But today, for some reason, it did. I wanted to if I could get a refund. So I asked the student aide.

“No,” she said, “it’s only

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10 cents.”

I really started thinking about this ten cents…because it truly is more than just ten cents to a great many students. In fact, I know of students who can’t afford to buy lunch. I know of students who have walked to school, because they couldn’t afford the bus. Is it really just 10 cents?

So I did some investigating….Yes, students can get a refund if they experience issues with printing or photo copying. There is actually a form available in the library. It gets forwarded to the Bradenton Campus. I don’t know how long the refund takes, but at least you can get it back. And so I wonder….how many students know about this? And the student aide did not do anything wrong, she just didn’t know. Why? Because, it’s only ten cents, right?

I think that all too often we sometimes accept things as they are, because of the seemingly tiny scale of what they are. But I think that kind of thinking begins to nourish a much broader and all encompassing ideology of looking past the small things, regardless of the principle involved. I’m reminded of a great short story by Irwin Shaw “The Dry Rock.” I read it in Junior High School, and I highly recommend it.

It’s the small things that often keep us going, and it’s the small things, that if ignored, become BIG things that are difficult to fix.

Maybe we should sweat the small stuff after all.