The first American coin, the Continental Dollar, was not emblazoned with the motto "In God We Trust." Nor E Pluribus Unum, the unofficial motto of the 13 original colonies, "One of many, One."
Treasurer Salmon P. Chase urged that "In God We Trust" be put on coinage during the Civil War to suggest that God was on the side of the Union, and it was added to our paper currency in 1956 after lobbying by The Fellowship, the group that created the National Prayer Breakfast.
The original coin was labeled with "Fugio," Latin for "to fly," and a sundial meaning Time Flies, and more importantly, three words long forgotten from our lexicon:
MIND YOUR BUSINESS.
Do we even know what that means anymore? Everyone's business is our business now. We watch reality shows, to discuss the petty peeves and peccadilloes of otherwise unaccomplished people. "Mind Your Business" was not a finger-wagging phrase to chide you for nosiness. It stated a simple fact: if you are overly concerned with your neighbors' business, you cannot adequately mind your own. The penny version, shown below, was designed by Benjamin Franklin, that coiner of aphorisms.
Other writers find me to be prolific. I consider myself rather lazy as a writer. I write one or two times a day, at lunch and after dinner, every day. Sometimes I only eke out 500 words, but I always write something. Where do I find the time? By minding my own business. I don't care if two women want to get married. Or if some guy wants to hoard guns. Or if a has-been movie star went on a self-destructive rant again. This is not my business. Oh, I have political opinions, and I vote religiously. But unless someone's basic human rights are being violated, I don't care what other people do. Some woman wants to have 30 children to serve the Lord? Go right ahead, I'll even pay taxes for their health care. A guy likes to rock climb and sucks at it, and we have to pay to put him in a cast every six months? Have fun, maybe you'll write 127 Hours 2: Another 48 Hours.
You want to make snarky comments about someone's lifestyle choices, cluck your tongues and shake your heads? By all means, have at it. But don't expect me to take you seriously.
Time flies; do your work.
That's my two cents... or $1.01, actually. On another note, I collected coins as a kid, until my collection was stolen by movers. I never owned a real Continental coin, they range from thousands to hundreds of thousands. If I am ever shamefully rich, I will buy one of these and keep it in my pocket.
© 2012 Thomas Pluck
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