$5 Can Change The World

“I am done with great things and big things, great institutions and big success, and I am for those tiny, invisible molecular moral forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water, yet which if you give them time, will rend the hardest monuments of man’s pride.”

– William James

“Time is money.”

 Benjamin Franklin

Don’t think $5 can change the world? Let’s put that to the test.

Tessa and Zachary on our run/bike ride today.

  • I found a couple dollars and put it in my envelope for charitable donations. Value? $2.
  • I ran six miles with my Charity Miles app calculating a donation towards curing Parkinson’s. Twenty five cents per mile. Value? $1.50.
  • I gathered all our five cent bottles and took them to Lamb’s Thriftway where they went into the Conestoga Middle School donation bin. Value? $1.50.

Total $5. … No world change there. Guess you’re right.


Let’s reword a few things and see what happens.

  • I cleaned our bedroom which was long overdue, finding a couple dollars in the process. The room looks better and is one less thing for my wife to do. Value?
  • As an application on my phone donated a quarter per mile, I ran six while my son Zachary and daughter Tessa rode their bikes with me. It was an hour spent together, laughing at Dad’s pathetically slow pace and enjoying the summer sun. Value?
  • I went to the store tonight to drop off some bottles and cans for donation. While I was there I bought food to barbecue for dinner. My very tired wife Melissa got a well-deserved nap instead of having to cook supper and our family ate together, enjoying bratwurst and red potatoes with rosemary. Value?


Maybe that $5 did change the world. At least my family’s little corner of it. And if a corner of the world changed, then the world did change.

It’s not the money we spend that changes the world, but the time we invest in each other.

Yesterday’s gift of time … Cleaned our bedroom, went for a run/bike ride with my kids, and cooked supper for the family. Plus I ended up donating $5 to charitable causes. 

About Eric Winger

Our perception of time is key to how we use our time. The most fundamental way to change that perception is to give our time. This opens us up to new opportunities and ideas from which we can build to really make a difference. ... Yes, we *do* have time to make a difference!
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5 Responses to $5 Can Change The World

  1. Natalie says:

    You did it again! I’m smiling!

  2. Eric, my brother who is sometimes without a home, or prefers to not go inside, mentioned last year when I saw him…that one day, he was sitting at a bus stop on a busy street and someone came up behind him and quietly slipped some money into his pocket and walked off…even though “someone behind him” might be potentially scarey for my brother, he was so touched by that tactful, quiet generosity….he really was deeply touched and thankful to whomever it was…he never did figure out whether it was someone he knew…probably it was, but that person was being “tactful”… so, taking that tiny bit of TIME to make a thoughtful and intentional small offering of kindness and generosity can make such a difference, and we might never realize that it did. As you quoted William James ” those tiny, invisible molecular moral forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water….”

    • Eric Winger says:

      Hi Kathy,

      Like your brother’s story points out, those small things really can make a big impact. Whether it was from his “friend” or a good-samaritan “friend” really doesn’t matter, the impact on him was the same.

      Thanks for sharing a story about one of those tiny, invisible molecular moral forces.


  3. Pingback: Backyard Time Travel | Give Our Time

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