What's in Your Wallet? - a Money Stories Extra

Last week’s Money Stories zoom discussion spilled past its cutoff time into emails among the group. In the midst of those, John Marriner offered an encouraging message, which he agreed to share here. Thank you, John!


In 1980-81 I was living alone and had recently moved to Atlanta. I needed something to keep me busy and I was not getting much satisfaction from my new job. I started volunteering evenings at the city hospital crisis center, working with AIDs patients and those without homes - neither of which were glamorous jobs!

I found this quote which gave a lot of meaning to my life at the time. It helped to reinforce what I was doing; I’d often pull it from my wallet when I needed a boost in morale and incentive to keep applying myself to my avocation where I felt needed.


I have referred to this copy that I have carried in my wallet for forty years and

it has remained a driving force in my raison d'etre, my "reason for being”.


To laugh often and to love much;

To win the respect of intelligent persons

and the affection of children;

To earn the praise of honest critics and to endure

the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to

give of one’s self;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child,

a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;

To have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung

with exultation;

To know that even one life has breathed easier because

of you… this is to have succeeded.


Ralph Waldo Emerson

3601 Seminary Avenue, Richmond, VA 23227

(804) 359-5049, ginterparkpc@gmail.com