The day had finally arrived when the Baker’s would see their youngest child, a daughter; venture out on her own. Lily was not only the youngest, but the only daughter and enjoyed having two older brothers who were particularly protective of her. During her youth medicine wasn’t certain what may have been wrong with Lily as she was unusually smart, yet lacked basic social skills. Today perhaps a diagnosis may be Asperger disorder.
It was Lily’s first day of work; she had been given a job at the local grocery store as a bagger. The Baker’s felt if Lily could walk to work she would gain greater independence and confidence in her abilities. Bob and Mark, her brothers, had taken her on the route in preparation of this day several times. Out the door she went with the anxiousness of children opening presents on Christmas morning.
Mr. Baker followed far enough behind to remain unseen by Lily. Down the street, around the corner, straight down Main Street, past the old gas station, and into the store she went. Her arrival was met with big smiles from the employees, her timing was perfect; 10 minutes early. She went through orientation and did a tremendous job that first day.
This routine became quite regular as Lily’s progression in her employment grew. She started work at 12:30 and would pass by the gas station at 12:15 habitually. There were three men who too would find themselves on the bench, along the front of the station eating lunch during this time nearly every day.
One day, one of these men noticed Lily; he saw she was challenged socially. Unfortunately he thought it would be funny to challenge her intellect and summoned her over to their group. He had a quarter in one hand and a silver dollar in the other. He reached out both hands, opened them palms up with the coins now visible. He suggested to Lily she could have which ever coin she wanted. Lily reached out for the quarter and took it thanking him.
The three men laughed and laughed, Lily just looked back at them with a perplexed look. This became a regular occurrence, happening nearly everyday. Some days there would be others gathered as the men found joy in having others see Lily take the “wrong” coin.
Lily’s supervisor noticed Lily always had a quarter when she came to work and asked her where she got them. She stated that there were three men on the bench at the gas station who gave them to her. Lily’s supervisor wondered what may be going on so she went to the gas station the next day to observe.
Here came Lily on time as usual, walking down the street. The men asked Lily over; the man on the end reached out his hands and challenged Lily to pick. Lily picked the quarter; the supervisor was astonished and happy Lily hadn’t seen her. The supervisor heard the men laugh and make fun of how stupid Lily was and had been for months.
The supervisor walked to work approaching Lily and asked, “Lily, why don’t you take the dollar? The men are making fun of you when you take the quarter. They think you aren’t smart enough to make a good decision. ” Lily laughed back out loud having to cover her mouth so she wouldn’t disrupt others around them.
Lily’s response shocked the supervisor who now knew Lily to be one of the wisest people she had ever known. “If I take the silver dollar the men will no longer be entertained by my choice; I will only get one dollar. So far I have played their game over one hundred times, which is twenty five dollars. I will pick the quarter until they tire of giving me money she laughed!”
What is important to note is that Lily didn’t take this ridicule for herself; each day she bought lunch for one of the employees who didn’t have enough money with the quarter!
In life it is wise for us to see the big picture, too realize there is more available by taking a quarter at a time. Don’t try to get the most you can, in the quickest amount of time. Be calculating in navigating through life, do so without greed, and share wherever possible.
This is a true story which has been changed slightly to protect the individuals who were involved.